Material Donation to Northwestern Formula Racing

For several years now, we’ve been happy to support the SAE Formula Racing team over at Northwestern University. Molly Mudget, one of the main team members working with the titanium, lets us know how their year went and how they did in competition.

Northwestern Formula Racing Team & Car Photo

The Northwestern Formula Racing Team unveiling NFR19 before this year’s competition.

Every year since 2008, Northwestern Formula Racing (NFR) has participated at an international level in an inter-collegiate SAE competition with an open-wheeled, motorcycle-engine powered road racing car. Throughout the school year we raise funds for, design, build, test, and eventually race the formula style car. The team has been using titanium for at least 6 years, and this year Performance Titanium Group provided NFR with a sponsorship.

We use titanium to construct the lever arms of the Anti-Roll Bar (ARB), a component of the suspension system that serves as system of springs to reduce body roll of the vehicle while cornering. Titanium is an optimal material for this because the ARB needs to meet a specific target stiffness and titanium has both a desirable strength-to-weight ratio and spring constant while meeting this stiffness requirement. The use of titanium allows us to adjust the ARB after assembly on the car in order to change the cornering abilities depending on the driver’s needs.

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Material Donation to UIUC Baja SAE Racing Team

PTG had the opportunity to donate 662 titanium round bar to the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Baja SAE Team for the 2018/2019 racing season. Unfortunately, they were unable to find a sponsor that could machine the titanium into parts for them, but they have big plans for next year’s car! We interviewed Josh, the team’s Chief Engineer, to find out more.

 

UIUC Baja Car with PTG logo

UIUC Baja Car with PTG logo

PTG: Tell us a little about your team and the role you play. How has being a part of UIUC Baja benefited you? What will you take away from this experience and be able to apply to future professional opportunities?

Josh: I’m currently the Chief Engineer of the Baja SAE team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My role involves setting project goals and validating engineering decisions through software like Ansys FEA. The club has taught me real applicable engineering skills that will be useful in the engineering industry post graduation. These skills include project management and machining of components, both of which aren’t specifically taught in the engineering curriculum and are critical to working in the engineering world. [Read more…]

Chico State Baja Racing Team

Chico State Baja Racing Team is in full swing of competition this weekend in Gorman, California! Aaron Ahlers, in charge of the drivetrain, tells us a little about the experience they had making parts out of the 662 titanium round bar we donated.

Chico State Baja Racing Titanium Parts

Left: Front Spindle attached to knuckle, Middle/Lower: Gearbox Input shaft, with gear attached, Middle/Upper: Gearbox Idler shaft with gears attached. Right: Rear spindle.

This is the first time our club has been fortunate enough to work with titanium, so we were a bit apprehensive about machining it at first. We did mostly turning operations to make the parts. This went pretty smooth in our Haas ST10 as long as we kept fresh carbide inserts on the tools and used the feeds and speeds that HSM Advisor gave us. The milling operations went very smooth as well since we are lucky enough to have some of the best carbide tools made by Xceliron specifically for titanium. We did run into issues on drilling and tapping, as we did not have any coolant drills or taps that were meant for titanium. After learning what we have about how it machines, I’m sure that we can find even better uses that will cut out more weight and make our car more durable. That is if we are lucky enough to get more next year!

Chico State Baja Racing Team Photo

Chico State Baja Racing Team and their Completed Vehicle

We can’t wait to see how they do! To see more about the team, visit their website https://chicobaja.org

Northern Illinois University Baja Team Sponsorship

At the end of 2018 we donated some 662 Titanium Round Bar, 5″ Diameter to the NIU Baja Team. Due to machining limitations, they were unfortunately unable to use the titanium in this year’s vehicle, but were able to develop a design to create axles for the following year’s competition.  Stefanie (Industrial System Engineering Major) shares with us the importance of this program for students like herself to grow personally and technically.  With the amount of weight reduction they were able to achieve this year, we look forward to seeing how well their car does once they are able to use the titanium for next year’s competition.

NIU Baja Team Vehicle With PTG Logo.

NIU Baja Team Vehicle With PTG Logo.

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Northwestern Baja Racing Team Material Donation

This year we had the pleasure of supporting Northwestern Baja Racing Team, for the first time, with a material donation. PTG donated 662 Titanium Round Bar, 2.441″ Dia. George, Suspension Lead and Chief Engineer, was able to share with us about the vehicle and the benefits he’s experienced from being part of the team!

Northwestern Baja Racing Team

Northwestern Baja Racing Team

PTG: Can you give a brief history on your team? What’s your role? How has being a part of this benefited you?

George: Northwestern Baja has been around since the mid 80’s, but went to a skeleton crew of 2 people for a few years until about 2008 when 3 students halfway built a car, and then 2011-2012/2013 when a few legends finished the car and made it rules legal. That car is our first car, Spot, weighing in at over 550+ lbs. Knuckles was the 2013-2014/2015 car having been competed both years to correct issues with the initial radical design change that was at least 150+ lbs lighter. 2015-2016 (Elbows) was the year where our team really took off with good documentation and the use of more exact calculations for tribology and mechanical design. 2016-2017 (Bongo) was the first car I worked on as a freshman, machining shafts and welding the chassis together. It was very similar to Elbows but roomier with more driver clearance. 2017-2018 (Dino) was the year where we reoriented our goals as a team, our priorities and excelled in our machining. For 2017-2018 I was Manufacturing Lead where I helped tool out and setup machines for making the gear box housing and using the conversational lathe to its fullest ability. Knuckles and Elbows both struggled as cars with the gearbox input shaft constantly shearing due to an unaccounted for bending stress from the CVT pulley. Dino was the year where we fixed that issue and stopped failing Shaft 1. The cost of that was a shaft that grew to a nominal size of about 25mm in diameter from a previous 17mm. This year I was the Suspension Lead and de jure Chief Engineer (within the past 2 months due to the chief engineer graduating early). I’ve always been the one of the guys that knew everything that was up with the car and had a hand at some point with the manufacture of all the components. I have learned so much more than what your standard classroom experience has to offer and I have even learned what its like to be one of the guys making parts designed by someone else and learning all the issues that can arise from simple oversights. [Read more…]

Thank You From Ohio Northern’s SAE Baja Racing Team

We were happy to support Ohio Northern’s SAE Baja team with a donation of varying diameters of 6-4 and 662 round bar. We look forward to seeing how their team and vehicle performs in the upcoming competitions!

Performance Titanium Group,

The Ohio Northern SAE Baja Team would like to thank Performance Titanium Group for their outstanding support of our team for the 2018-19 year. PTG has allowed us to explore the advantages and challenges that are associated with advanced materials such as Titanium. This year was our team’s first experience with using Titanium for components on the car. PTG was kind enough to donate several round blanks of their Ti 6Al-6V-2Sn and 6Al-4V alloys that were used for making gears. Utilizing Titanium’s superior strength to weight ratio, we were able to reduce rotational weight and moment of inertia, while maintaining sufficient strength. These gears are 45% percent lighter than our steel set, resulting in over 4lbs of weight loss in our gears from last year to this year. 

In addition to the many benefits that are associated with using Titanium over steel, some challenges were encountered along the way. The most prominent of these challenges was learning how to machine it. During our first time turning Titanium, we got the tooling and chips so hot they started to glow! Thus, we discovered Titanium’s poor heat dissipation and learned that coolant is an absolute must when machining it. However, after some research and trial and error, we figured out pretty well how to machine it by adjusting feeds/speeds/depth of cut.

In the coming weeks, the ONU Baja Team will be competing at the SAE sanctioned Baja race in Tennessee, where we are eager to see the benefit the Titanium gears will provide. Additionally, ONU will be competing in SAE races in California and New York this year.

Thank you again for supporting our team! – Polar Bear Racing

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Material Donation to Michigan Baja Racing for Spring 2019

Michigan Baja Racing Team & Car Photo

The Michigan Baja Racing Team and their yet to be named vehicle.

We’ve been happy to support the Michigan Baja Racing Team since 2015. We’ve seen them face great success over the years with their student designed and built vehicles. Once again we were able to support the team this year with a material donation of 662 titanium round bar. As they gear up for competition starting in April, I was able to check in with Jeremiah Johnson, Manufacturing Director, to see how the titanium was used and how they feel about the upcoming competitions:

662 Titanium Round Bar

662 Titanium Round Bar Donated by PTG.

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Thank you letter from Michigan Baja Racing Team

2018 Michigan Baja Racing Team at the unveiling of the 2018 race car.

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Material Donation to Pennsylvania College of Technology

We were approached by a student at Penn State who asked for titanium material donations to experiment with in their Engineering class. We were happy to be able to support and we wanted to share their letter of gratitude as well as some pictures from the students!

A student attempting to successfully produce a weld with an acceptable oxide color using only basic supplies (aluminum foil and gas lens). This helps take away some of the stigma associated with welding Ti, and shows that as long as you abide by a few simple rules you can produce excellent results without needing a purge chamber.

This photo was captured after the student had finished welding a few stringer beads with varying levels of success. They are also encouraged to test the limits of cleanliness, shielding flow rate, travel speed, etc. to see the impact on the weld surface so they are able to troubleshoot and diagnose issues later.

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SDSU Aztec Electric Racing Team

We are so excited for the opportunity to sponsor a local racing team this year. We were able to talk to the team President, Greg Sawvelle, about the process leading up to the competition as well as get some pictures of the car being built! Looking forward to seeing the finished product next month!

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PERFORMANCE TITANIUM GROUP: A CUT ABOVE THE REST