Alcon Components Limited
Alcon is a designer and manufacturer of ultra-high quality, low volume brake, clutch and other automotive components. We operate in all areas of the industry around the world where the customer wants and expects the best, both from the product and the support that goes with it.
Our clients and their requirements are as wide ranging as the products we supply. From tiny brake-by-wire controllers for Formula E racing cars to calipers required to stop 35 tonnes of armoured vehicle, the only factor common to everything we do is our no-compromise approach to engineering excellence. Whether you are an OEM looking for a few thousand components to use on a high performance road car, or a tiny race team needing just a handful of unique parts, Alcon is the answer.
We pride ourselves in the rapid response enabled by our QRM-based philosophy and decades of experience in motorsport. The time from first contact with a client to the delivery of a bespoke component, designed, engineered, assembled, checked and tested in house by us can be as little as a month.
And that’s not the only reason Alcon is no ordinary supplier. When customers come to us, they find not just a team of exceptionally talented and dedicated engineers, but a happy band of like-minded enthusiasts. Ever since we were founded in 1983 by engineer and sports car racer John Moore our work has been our passion. We understand what motivates people to want to win in all competitive environments, and having supplied components for teams that have won championships in every major field of motorsport, we know what winning requires and how to deliver it too.
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16 July 2021
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Mr. David Clegg, Alcon Components Limited, UNITED KINGDOM
Mr. Garry Wiseman, Alcon Components Limited, UNITED KINGDOM
Dr. Andrew Smith, Alcon Components Limited, UNITED KINGDOM
The field of Motorsport covers a wide range of applications from Formula 1 to World Rally (WRC) and NASCAR to GT. This range of race series and the varying regulations applied to each drives a variety of different requirements on the brake systems used.
Motorsport is primarily about winning. In order to win at the highest levels of Motorsport, then very small margins matter. This means that huge attention is paid to brake system performance and consistency to ensure driver confidence, thermal management to ensure the best balance of vehicle drag, brake cooling and disc weight and an overall obsession with weight where 100g is a worthwhile improvement. Unlike Performance Road Cars, noise is not an issue.
This presentation will provide an overview of the typical duty cycles experienced in track and off-road racing, so that the requirements of the brakes can be put into context. Further, the current state of art for the brake components will be discussed sharing their key features. Motorsport calipers use topology optimisation to minimise weight for a target stiffness. But they also include cooling ducts, thermal barriers for pistons and intricate fluid passageways. Brake rotor assemblies are fully floating on bells, using a number of technologies as interface systems between the disc and bell. Rotors also have significant attention paid to their cooling with vent design looking to optimise heat rejection.
Brake actuation in Motorsport differs greatly from Road vehicles. Whilst some series allow some electronic intervention, be that ABS or brake bias blending to work with Regenerative braking, as per Formula E, most series still run with a system of single master cylinders on an adjustable balance bar such that the driver can adjust front to rear bias to suit the speed and downforce levels at any part of a circuit. This presentation will share examples of these actuation technologies to give an overview of the current state of art components. As with the foundation brakes, lightweight components are critical to success and so the optimisation technologies used in calipers are also applied to the structural components of the pedal box housing the actuation.
In summary this presentation aims to give a broad overview of the requirements of Motorsport brakes, the latest brake system products and key design methodologies.