Solar Team

SOLAR TEAM 2007 - 2009 - 2011 - 2013 - 2015 

On one of the (very few) sunny days of august 2014, the young engineers of the solar team challenge visited Diametal with the 2013 solar car.

In 2013 they finished 6th on a total of 42 teams in the solar race in Australia on wheels made in Diametal. For the fifth consecutive time, Diametal provided the rims and parts of the suspension. Over these years we saw this race evolve form a side show to a media event with famous Belgians as godfathers, drivers and even “pin ups”.  What did not change was the enthusiasm and dedication of the would be engineers when they design, build and drive the car. During the visit Diametal agreed to sponsor the 2015 event. Below you can see some great pictures of the 2013 race in Australia. Click on the pics and you can see many more.

Below you can find more foto's and information on how Diametal produces the rims by turning and milling. More info on the solar team and the race in Australia you can find on YouTube off course.

Umicore solar team 2009

The Solar team returned back to Australia in September 2009 for the world championship for solar-powered cars.

For the third consecutive time Diametal sponsors this group of students from “Groep T”, the industial engineering division of  the university of Leuven. This edition Diametal milled the wheel rims, the upper and lower wishbones and some smaller parts. The Solar team delivered the CAD drawings and Diametal turned, milled and EDM’d the parts on its CNC machines using CAM. The calibers of 2 years ago were kept nicely on a shelf and were reused with some few adjustments.

The production method of the rims were identical as the ones 2 years ago with exception for the milling. Form square blocks of aluminum we milled round blocks. These blocks were turned to specification on our CTX630 and finally milled on our new Hermle 5-axis milling machine. The caliber was placed on a pallet and every evening placed by our robot on the machine. In the morning the part was ready. Total milling time: approximately 6 hours.

This year there were 2 sets of rims for Dunlops and for Michelins in search for the lowest wind and roll resistance. We started to understand why F1 cars are so expensive.


Unfortunately 2009 was not as successful as 2007. On the second day a whirlwind lifted the car and smacked it against a tree with a speed of 100km/h. Luckily the driver was unharmed. On that moment, the team was virtually second but their race was over.

You can read more about them on their website:

Sponsoring Umicore Solar Team en 2005 et 2007

The vice-worldchampion visited Diametal on July 17th 2008 during their yearly tour of the sponsors.

In Australia October 2007 the Umicore Solar car finished on a second place, in the unofficial ‘world championship’ for solar-powered cars. For the second time in a row Diametal was a partner in the production of mechanical pieces for the  solar car. The Umicore Solar team is a group of students and recent graduates of the industrial engineers school from Groep T from Leuven. For their master, they build a highly sophisticated race car that is only powered with solar-energy. The last race was in 2005 and in 2007 they contacted Diametal again to make their most crucial parts, these were 2 front rims and the wishbones. Crucial? The car has a top speed of 150km/h and has to drive on a bumpy road with a lot of wind.

If you are interested in the manufacturing process: The pieces were turned and milled out of AlZnMgCu1,5  – 7075, a very strong aluminum alloy.


The rims: because this material was only available in plates, the square blocks were milled “round” first taking for 90 minutes (per block) on our 5-axis milling machine DMU100T, then they were turned for 25 minutes on our CTX620. Finally the rims were milled on our 4-axis milling machine DMU80. This operation took ± 10 hours per rm. The starting weight from the aluminum block was over 50kg and the final result was less than 3kg. All milling programming was programmed on our CAD/CAM packet Topsolid.


The wishbones were milled in 2 times on our DMU 100T.

If you are interested in the Umicore Solar team, you can read and watch more about them on their website: