Formula 1: Fire-Retardancy Certifications

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TC346 is Toray Advanced Composites’ latest and most advanced motorsport prepreg system, setting a new standard in composite solutions. TC346 was specifically created to meet the needs of Formula One (F1) teams that had, until now, been unable to meet their most demanding application needs with existing materials.

TC346 was developed over a 3 year period, working in partnership with several F1 teams. This collaborative approach has enabled Toray Advanced Composites to surpass all the aforementioned demands and the company is confident that TC346 will become the material of choice for advanced F1 cars on this year’s starting grid.

TC346 has been specifically developed for Formula 1’s suspension and gearbox applications where high service temperature, high interlaminar, and high fracture toughness is essential. Furthermore, this material opens up opportunities for further lightweight components where enhanced performance and toughness are necessary.

TC346 is a high-temperature epoxy, with a number of key characteristics that demonstrate improvements when compared to legacy materials. These characteristics include interlaminar shear strength (ILSS), room temperature dry (RTD), compression strength (CS), in-plane shear modulus (IPSM), elevated temperature dry (ETD), and tensile strength (TS).

TC346 was specifically developed for motorsport applications, but this unmatched prepreg solution is a worthwhile option for any application requiring a high glass transition temperature (Tg), super-tough epoxy that possesses superb compression strength along with high fracture toughness.

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has also impacted motorsport, with major racing series having to be postponed. Though the first 10 Formula 1 races were canceled or delayed, the season was able to resume in Austria on July 5th with no spectators present to alleviate risks associated with COVID-19. Spectators will be able to return when it is safe to do so.

In the US, NASCAR racing resumed at Darlington Raceway on May 17th with 7 spectator-free races completed over a 10-day period. There are still a number of races due to take place, but the schedule is subject to change depending on developments around the pandemic.

The leading sanctioning body of Drag Racing - the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) – also announced an abbreviated schedule in August, though spectators were able to attend these races.

With other racing series now adopting condensed schedules with alternative options for attendance and spectators, race teams are beginning to adapt to these new circumstances and racing is continuing.

Competition in motorsport is grueling, but Toray Advanced Composites has been able to rise to this challenge with the development of TC346.

Toray TC346 offers the following key features:

  • Exceptional retention of properties, even at high temperatures
  • High compression, G1C, and ILSS
  • Tg onset of 209 °C (408 °F)
  • Tg peak tan of 220 °C (428 °F)
  • 21 days shop life – 6 months at -18 °C
  • Passes SFI 56.1 flame retardancy requirements at one-ply thickness:
    • Tested on TC346 HM0545 200g 2x2 Twill HM63 42% resin content
    • SFI certification is needed for all composite components used in NASCAR
  • Passes UL94 V0 flame retardancy requirements at 2 mm thickness:
    • Tested on TC346-00 HM0545 200 gsm 2x2 Twill HM63 12K 42% resin content
  • Density 1.3 g/cm3
  • Available with a variety of fibers in several fabric styles
  • Also available as unidirectional tapes

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Toray Advanced Composites.

For more information on this source, please visit Toray Advanced Composites.

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