31 October 2016
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Böllhoff RIVNUT® helps boost land speed record attempt

When dealing with the extremes of engineering the smallest design features can still have a huge impact. Such is the case with the new Bloodhound land speed record car, where, according to Böllhoff Fastening Limited’s managing director Andy Witts, the use of the company’s RIVNUT® saves 0.6kg in weight within Advanced Fuel System’s assembly.

As one of the leading players in the design and manufacture of fuel safety cells, Advanced Fuel Systems constantly pushes the boundaries for applications in the motorsport, automotive, aviation and marine sectors.

The monolithic fuel safety cells enable fuel containment, which facilitates the use of leading edge fuel delivery components, optimising fit and fuel volume.

Using a thermosetting cross-linked polymer reinforcing material, a composite of ballistic nylon with a tough seamless urethane coating, the resultant cell offers the flexibility of moving fuel away from impact areas while saving weight – a key aspect in all areas of today’s vehicle design.

Advanced Fuel Systems provided the fuel cells for Thrust SSC, the land speed record vehicle in the late 90s and was the natural choice for the NEW Bloodhound SSC Land Speed Record Vehicle.

The standard nut rings on the cells that allow the delivery components to be attached use two piece threaded inserts however Böllhoff had worked previously with AFS on a light weight alternative using RIVNUT® fixings and RIVNUT® tooling.

For internal and external threads of components with small wall thicknesses, Böllhoff’s RIVNUT® blind rivet nuts and RIVSTUD® blind rivet studs are an elegant solution. These elements are mounted without counter pressure ("blindly") and can therefore also be set at hollow sections.

Böllhoff assisted with part selection and also final installation due to the sensitive nature of this project. We are always happy to go the extra mile and this project illustrates Bollhoff’s ability to react to niche customers as well as larger corporations alike. It’s not always about volume.

The RIVNUT® of choice was a closed end aluminum part, which gave the customer a number of immediate advantages. Production time was decreased and the material choice gave a generous weight saving resulting in 60% less weight compared to the standard fixings, in real world terms the finished components came in at 0.6kgs lighter.

The smallest nut ring used on the Bloodhound SSC project had nine RIVNUT® parts in it and the largest had thirty two. A total of 272 RIVNUT® parts were set and due to the speed of installation compared to the usual fixing we saved approximately 1 hour boosting productivity five-fold.

This has been a successful niche project and has now given Advanced Fuel Systems another option for the more weight sensitive customers going forwards and also increased output capacity due to the installation speed.

Bollhoff will continue work with Advanced Fuel Systems on the standard side of their business and will hopefully increase the use of RIVNUT® parts and RIVNUT® tooling throughout the range with time.

The Bloodhound project is backed by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group as its prime sponsor and Official Automotive Partner in a three year agreement. This leading Chinese automotive group will provide technical as well as financial support to the project and promote its programme throughout Asia. The deal enables plans to go ahead for a land speed record attempt in 2017.

Bollhoff Fastenings Ltd

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