Bercella, Formula Seven partner to develop seat with natural materials

May 24, 2021 - Italy

Bercella and Formula Seven have partnered to develop an innovative seat for Formula SAE single-seaters. The initiative utilises 100 per cent natural materials, and indicates that greener materials can be reliable on an engineering level. The seat has been made using flax fibre, which besides being eco-friendly, is also impact and corrosion resistant.

Flax fibre excellently absorbs vibrations and isolates from electricity and heat. It perfect fits for combining the seat and the firewall together into a single component, saving space and mass, both of which are key on Formula SAE race cars.

As for the resin, it has an epoxy or polyester base that determines the resistance of the composite. Along with synthetic resins, there is an effort to develop bio-resins to make this material 100 per cent sustainable.

FIA and other federations are pushing to boost the use of natural fibres to improve the sustainability of motorsport.

Angeloni Group, flax fibre supplier for the initiative, commented: “Thanks to their excellent mechanical properties and low environmental impact, our IMP 503Z-HT – AmpliTex range of natural fibre-based prepregs, are extremely versatile. In addition, vibration damping, UV resistance and multiple design options make this a perfect solution for various applications from sports to automotive, aerospace and marine sectors.”

Formula Seven, the largest worldwide provider of Formula SAE specific products, said: “Our goal is to support Formula SAE engineers by providing ready-made parts optimised for that competition, so that the teams can save time on designing and focus on assembling and testing. This is another step forward that allows the integration of 2 parts with both environmental and performance benefits.”

Massimo Bercella, Bercella CEO, said: “We always supported both Formula SAE teams, and the pursue for a more sustainable composites industry. With this innovation in the world where the brightest young minds of the motorsport industry move their first steps, we show them that greener materials can be reliable on an engineering level, hoping this will prompt their increasing use in the future.”