The composites lab is used by the composites group on the Formula SAE team to make the carbon fiber parts for the Formula SAE racecar. The team prides itself on using new and innovative techniques to manufacture lightweight and stiff parts for the racecar. Team members use the same carbon fiber used in industry to make parts for the car. The team uses vacuum pumps and high-temperature ovens to cure the parts so maximum strength is achieved. Team members learn modern manufacturing and analysis techniques in the field of composites. Dr. Alan Nye manages this lab.
The lab is very basic in resources, there are tables and bench top workspace. There is also compressed shop air routed into the room.
The room contains supplies to manufacture composite parts, but these are Formula Team resources that have been either sponsored to the team or purchased by the team. These types of resources include resin, paint and primer supplies, surface finishing supplies, dry carbon fiber fabric, pre-impregnated carbon fiber, vacuum bagging supplies, vacuum pumps, high-temperature ovens to make car parts.
The room is a part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering machine shop. In addition to support from the department, the team receives support from many companies in the composites industry. Boeing, Airtech, Cytec, and ITT Excelis have contributed support to the Formula SAE Racing team composites lab.