Where a fastener is needed to be versatile, light and yet strong, plastic is often the optimal solution. A case in point is the automotive sector, where the latest trend is for light-weighting; a lighter car uses less fuel, is more economic and more environmentally friendly. For Ariel Motor Company, however, the British firm which manufacturers the high-speed Atom sports car, lightweighting is also about performance
When designing its new Atom 3.5, said to be the fastest lightweight sports car available today, Ariel wanted to find ways to help take more weight out of the vehicle’s structure.
Global manufacturer and distributor TR Fastenings was able to provide a solution, as Kevin Rogers, TR Fastenings’ plastics product sales manager, explains: “The Atom is designed with a unique open structure based on frames. No roof, no windows, just a tubular chassis, which means everything is on show.
“Our UL-approved cable ties provided a low-cost, aesthetically pleasing insight into the car’s method of construction, at the same time providing a weather and oil resistant fastener that will stand the test of time.
Our stringent quality requirements from trusted vendors were endorsed by Ariel’s production managers, who claim that while previous parts have failed in many areas, TR Fastenings’ products never give cause for concern.”
Whether destined to be used as a fast road car, an ultimate track day weapon, a fun weekend car or a combination of all three, Ariel Motor Company can create a bespoke vehicle specific to the individual needs of a customer. TR Fastenings has been working alongside Ariel and has been able to provide suitable fasteners for various options and add-ons, as Kevin Rogers explains:
“We are currently sampling a new plastic clip, bespoke for this application to hold in place a liquid vessel and prevent it from moving, and the fact we found an off-the-shelf TR part perfect for this function, means Ariel can react fast to new designs, without tooling and expensive metal alternatives. We are working on alternatives across the Atom to suggest areas where plastic parts can be substituted to take even further weight and cost savings.
Our addition of thousands of new lines of plastic fasteners gives Ariel an enormous choice of options, and makes us proud to be involved in keeping a truly British innovative design at the top of its game.”
With race car dynamics and a 0-100kph acceleration of less than three seconds, form follows function and every component in the Atom has to be fit for purpose.
“We have been impressed by the quality of TR Fastening’s plastic fasteners and cable ties,” comments Simon Saunders, director of Ariel Motor Company.
“They slot discreetly within the infrastructure and have proved themselves more than capable of coping with the demands of this vehicle.”
The Ariel Atom is one example of how TR Fastenings is approaching it clients to see if it can improve them and provide some production benefit.
The possibilities of these multi-functional components are said to be endless. A two-piece plastic rivet would take less time to apply than a nut, bolt and a washer.
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