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Car construction

Published with permission from the Federation Internationale de l' Automobile.

ARTICLE 15: CAR CONSTRUCTION
15.1 Permitted materials:

A list of permitted materials may be found in the Appendix to these regulations.
15.1.2 No parts of the car may be made from metallic materials which have a specific modulus of elasticity greater than 40 GPa / (g/cm3). Tests to establish conformity will be carried out in accordance with FIA Test Procedure 03/02, a copy of which may be found in the Appendix to these regulations.
15.2 Roll structures:
15.2.1
All cars must have two roll structures which are designed to help prevent injury to the driver in the event of the car becoming inverted.
The principal structure must be at least 940mm above the reference plane at a point 30mm behind the cockpit entry template. The second structure must be in front of the steering wheel but no more than 250mm forward of the top of the steering wheel rim in any position.
The two roll structures must be of sufficient height to ensure the driver's helmet and his steering wheel are at least 70mm and 50mm respectively below a line drawn between their highest points at all times.
15.2.2 The principal structure must pass a static load test details of which may be found in Article 17.2. Furthermore, each Team must supply detailed calculations which clearly show that it is capable of withstanding the same load when the longitudinal component is applied in a forward direction.
15.2.3 The second structure must pass a static load test details of which may be found in Article 17.3.
15.2.4 Both roll structures must have minimum structural cross sections of 10000mm², in vertical projection, across a horizontal plane 50mm below the their highest points.
15.3 Structure behind the driver:
The parts of the survival cell immediately behind the driver which separate the cockpit from the car's fuel tank, and which lie less than 150mm from the centre line of the car, may be situated no further forward than the line a-b-c-d-e shown in Drawing 2.
15.4 Survival cell specifications:
15.4.1
Every survival cell must incorporate three FIA supplied transponders for identification purposes. These transponders must be a permanent part of the survival cell, be positioned in accordance with Drawing 6 and must be accessible for verification at any time.
15.4.2 The survival cell must have an opening for the driver, the minimum dimensions of which are given in Article 13.1. Any other openings in the survival cell must be of the minimum size to allow access to mechanical components.
15.4.3 An impact absorbing structure must be fitted in front of the survival cell. This structure need not be an integral part of the survival cell but must be solidly attached to it.
Furthermore, it must have a minimum external cross section, in horizontal projection, of 9000mm² at a point 50mm behind its forward-most point.
15.4.4 Referring to Drawing 5:
The external width of the survival cell between the lines B-B and C-C must be no less than 450mm and must be at least 60mm per side wider than the cockpit opening when measured normal to the inside of the cockpit aperture. These minimum dimensions must be maintained over a height of at least 350mm.
The width of the survival cell may taper forward of the line B-B but, if this is the case, the outer surface must not lie closer to the centre line of the car than a plane which has a linear taper to a minimum width of 300mm at the line A-A.
Between the lines A-A and B-B the width of the survival cell must be greater than the width defined by the two lines a-b. This minimum width must be arranged symmetrically about the car centre line, must be maintained over a height of at least 400mm at the line B-B and 275mm at the line A-A. The height at any point between A-A and B-B must not be less than the height defined by a linear taper between these two sections. When assessing the minimum external cross-sections of the survival cell, radii of 50mm at the line B-B, and reducing at a linear rate to 25mm at the line A-A, will be permitted.
The minimum height of the survival cell between the lines A-A and B-B need not be arranged symmetrically about the horizontal centre line of the relevant section but must be maintained over its entire width.
The minimum height of the survival cell between the lines B-B and C-C is 550mm.
15.4.5 When the test referred to in Article 13.1.1 is carried out and the template is in position with its lower edge 525mm above the reference plane, the shape of the survival cell must be such that no part of it is visible when viewed from either side of the car. The parts of the survival cell which are situated each side of the driver's head must be no more than 550mm apart.
In order to ensure that the driver's head is not unduly exposed and for him to maintain good lateral visibility he must, when seated normally and looking straight ahead with his head as far back as possible, have his eye visible when viewed from the side. The centre of gravity of his head must lie below the top of the survival cell at this position. When viewed from the side of the car, the centre of gravity of the driver's head will be deemed to be the intersection of a vertical line passing through the centre of his ear and a horizontal line passing through the centre of his eye.
15.4.6 In order to give additional protection to the driver in the event of a side impact a flat test panel of uniform construction, which is designed and constructed in order to represent a section of the survival cell sides, must pass a strength test. Details of the test procedure may be found in Article 18.6.
Referring to Drawing 5, with the exception of local reinforcement and/or inserts, all parts of the survival cell which are as wide or wider than the minimum widths stipulated in Article 15.4.4, including any radii applied, must be manufactured to the same specification as a single panel which satisfies the requirements of Article 18.6. Furthermore, parts to this tested specification must cover an area which:
- begins at least 250mm high at line A-A ;
- tapers at a linear rate to at least 400mm high at line B-B and which remains at this height to the rear of the survival cell ;
- is no less than 100mm above the reference plane between the line B-B and the rear of the survival cell.
15.4.7 Once the requirements of Articles 15.4.4, 15.4.6, 15.5.1, 15.5.2, 15.5.4, 15.5.5, 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, 18.5, 18.6 and 18.8 have been met, panels no less than 6.2mm thick must then be permanently attached to the survival cell sides. These panels must:
- in a longitudinal sense, cover the area lying between two vertical planes, one 125mm forward of the cockpit entry template and one 50mm to the rear of the template. A 50mm horizontal linear taper may be included at both ends ;
- in a vertical sense, cover an area which has been constructed in accordance with Articles 15.4.6 and 18.6. This will not apply where any radius permitted by Article 15.4.4 falls inside the minimum permitted chassis width ;
- be constructed from 16 plies of Zylon and two plies of carbon, precise lay-up details must be followed and may be found in the Appendix to these regulations ;
- be permanently attached to the survival cell with an appropriate adhesive which has been applied over their entire surface.
Cut-outs in these panels totalling 35000mm² per side will be permitted for fitting around side impact structures, wiring loom holes and essential fixings.
15.5 Survival cell safety requirements:
15.5.1
The survival cell and frontal absorbing structure must pass an impact test against a solid vertical barrier placed at right angles to the centre line of the car, details of the test procedure may be found in Article 16.2.
15.5.2 Between the front and rear roll structures, on each side of the survival cell, impact absorbing structures must be fitted and must be solidly attached to it. The purpose of these structures is to protect the driver in the event of a lateral impact and, in order to ensure this is the case, a lateral strength test in the vicinity of the driver's seating position must be carried out successfully. Details of the test procedure may be found in Article 18.2.2.
The survival cell and one of these impact absorbing structures must pass an impact test, details of the test procedure may be found in Article 16.3. If these structures are not designed and fitted symmetrically about the car centre line a successful impact test must be carried out on them both.
15.5.3 An impact absorbing structure must be fitted behind the gearbox symmetrically about the car centre line with the centre area of its rearmost face 300mm (+/-5mm) above the reference plane and no less than 575mm behind the rear wheel centre line.
The rearmost face of the impact structure must be a rectangular section no less than 100mm wide, this minimum width must be maintained over a height of at least 130mm and each corner may incorporate a radius no greater than 10mm. Between the rear face and the rear wheel centre line no dimension of the area thus defined may diminish nor may any part of the structure or gearbox which is visible from below, other than the permitted radii, be higher than the lower edge of the rear face.
This structure must pass an impact test and must be constructed from materials which will not be substantially affected by the temperatures it is likely to be subjected to during use. Details of the test procedure may be found in Article 16.4.
Only those parts of the structure which genuinely contribute to its performance during the impact test, and which are designed and fitted for that sole purpose, will be considered when assessing compliance with any of the above.
15.5.4 The survival cell must also be subjected to five separate static load tests:
1) on a vertical plane passing through the centre of the fuel tank ;
2) on a vertical plane passing through the rearmost point at which the outer end of the forward-most front wheel tether would make contact with the survival cell when swung about the inner attachment;
3) on a vertical plane 375mm forward of the rear edge of the cockpit entry template ;
4) from beneath the fuel tank ;
5) on each side of the cockpit opening.
Details of the test procedures may be found in Article 18.2.
15.5.5 To test the attachments of the frontal, side and rear impact absorbing structures static side load tests must be carried out. Details of these test procedures may be found in Articles 18.5, 18.7 and 18.8.2.

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