Delft, the Netherlands - A team of students from Delft University of Technology turned to DSM Composite Resins as materials sponsor when aiming for a fourth successive championship in the 2007 World Solar Challenge. DSM met the Delft Nuon Solar Team's advanced composite needs with Turane resin technology. These thermosetting urethanes have the structural performance of epoxy resins but with faster processing characteristics, said a 12 July statement from DSM Composite Resins. The Dutch polymer group provided materials, support and advice in design and production of a vehicle to endure the temperature extremes of the trans-Australian race - powered only by energy from the sun.Nuna4, the 200kg Delft vehicle (pictured), utilises what DSM called "cutting edge aerospace and Formula 1 technology." The car is stronger, lighter and safer than its predecessors, said a DSM statement. Stricter entry criteria from the organisers for this year's race aimed to make the vehicles safer. But also, the organisers wanted the vehicles to be more recognisable as cars. Specifications included roll bars, upright seating and a maximum surface area of 6 m2 for solar cells. DSM explains that the Turane resins were developed for advanced composite applications in aerospace, automotive and windmill blades. These have the same requirements: high strength coupled with low weight and fast processing characteristics. The Delft team used vacuum infusion to make the two halves of the body shell and wheel casings. And they impregnated a reinforcement pack incorporating woven carbon fibre with the Turane resins. DSM said the cure chemistry of the Turane PU resins "gives a cure profile from slow to very fast, making it ideal for fully controllable vacuum resin infusion."The ninth Panasonic World Solar Challenge starts 21 Oct 2007 in subtropical Darwin in northern Australia, finishing 26 Oct down south in Adelaide. Every two years around 40 entrants from over 30 countries participate, at speeds exceeding 100 km/h. With Nuna4, the Delft Nuon Solar Team feel they have sufficient technological input to be "confident of a fourth successive victory," the DSM statement concluded. epw"