This year, PTG was able to support the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Baja SAE team (Rebel Racing) with several titanium donations. Below, the Rebel Racing team shares some of their feedback on working with this titanium and utilizing it in their competition.
For the UNLV Baja SAE – Rebel Racing team, last competition year (2019-2020) was the first time we integrated titanium into our vehicle designs. With our goals of aiming for the top spot of the podium in competitions, every ounce of vehicle weight that can be saved drastically helps us achieve these goals. The fabrication and material processing techniques during that time period greatly influenced our design signature when upgrading RR6 for the 2020-2021 competition year. Since the competition year of 2019-2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19 safety issues, Rebel Racer 6 (RR6) did not see much dynamic driving time during that year.
However the 2019-2020 competition year was not a complete loss for UNLV Baja SAE – Rebel Racing, during virtual design presentations we were able to take home an overall top 5 finish in all virtual presentations we competed in. Whether it was sales, design or cost presentation the usage and understanding of titanium definitely had a positive influence on our scores as we presented them during virtual presentations and the Performance Titanium Group provided our team the avenue to have a definite advantage over the virtual competition.
The 2019-2020 competition year was just a minor speed bump in our path and we always knew we would return back to the in-person designing, fabrication and testing for the Baja SAE series. Once our university opened to on-campus operations in August-September of 2020 for the fall semester, we were finally able to see our design(s) run as we were able to test drive RR6 through the normal testing scenarios. This testing time saw as much as 700 to 800 miles placed on the vehicle. This large amount of testing time placed endurance loads on the parts that we have never subjected our vehicles to. One instance of titanium part failure came from our front upright pins. RR6 had two front upright pins experience failure under live endurance vehicle testing.
This is the second year PTG has been able to support Harding University’s Bison Baja team with a titanium donation. We are pleased to share some of their feedback on the benefits of titanium within their vehicle, and their team’s placement in the 2021 competition.
Harding University Bison Baja would like to thank Performance Titanium Group for sponsoring us this year in the SAE Baja 2021 competition, in which we placed 1st in endurance and 4th overall at Baja SAE Arizona 2021. With the use of 6AL-4V titanium provided by PTG, we were able to manufacture many components for our vehicle this year including transfer case shafts, steering rack, toe links, braking components, and a differential spool. Despite the increase in weight of our vehicle due to the addition of a four-wheel drive system, manufacturing titanium components allowed us to reduce weight in a variety of areas around the vehicle. The titanium also increased the strength of components as opposed to using other materials such as steel or aluminum. This provided greater reliability and fatigue resistance of components, lending to our success this season. We are incredibly grateful for the support of PTG and are excited to continue diving into the potential of using titanium for other components in future vehicles.
-Alberto Quintero of Harding University Bison Baja
In February, we provided Case Western Reserve University with 6AL-4V 2″ Dia. They were able to turn those into u-joint yokes for their 2021 Baja SAE vehicle. CWRU’s technical director and drivetrain team lead, Tobin Gevelber, shared the pictures below and their experience with this year’s competition.
Dear Performance Titanium Group,
From Michigan Baja Racing we would like to extend our sincere gratitude for your continued sponsorship as we compete in the Baja SAE series. Material donated by PTG has been instrumental in designing lighter, more durable components to endure the obstacles and terrain our vehicle must traverse.
Every year, Michigan Baja Racing redesigns a single-seat off-road vehicle to compete in SAE sanctioned competitions across the country. With the COVID-19 pandemic taking the world by storm for the past year, we had to make some tough decisions which culminated in reusing much of MBR31, the 2020 competition vehicle. Still, with the university working to provide limited shop access, we were able to make some major improvements to the vehicle over the past year. Most notably, we upgraded the newly added 4WD system to increase ground clearance and provide driver selectability. MBR31 v2 was unveiled in April and will compete at Baja SAE Louisville towards the end of May.
PTG has provided multiple different titanium alloys that have been used in our vehicle’s drivetrain to reduce not only static mass, but rotating inertia. Grade 5 Titanium was used to machine shafts that support roller bearings in our Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This weight reduction is especially critical because it is at the engine where rotating inertia is magnified. In addition, our gearbox shafts and inboard universal joint are made from Ti 6Al-6V-2Sn donated by PTG. This has allowed for much tighter packaging in the rear of the vehicle leading to superior ground clearance and suspension geometry.