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Valve seat materials

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In a four-stroke race engine, the valve seats play an important part in the mechanical reliability and heat management of the valves. In general, the valve seat will conduct much of the heat away from the valve head during the time the valve is shut. If we leave mechanical and dimensional considerations aside, a valve seat material with greater thermal conductivity will transfer heat from the valve to the cylinder head, and thence to the cooling water circuit, more efficiently than one of...

Le Mans Prototype flywheel hybrid

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There have been a number of articles in the press on the benefits of a flywheel-based hybrid system for motor racing - indeed, Porsche has been racing a flywheel hybrid system in selected GT races. This is based on the same technology that Williams had begun to develop for its Formula One car for the 2009 season, but which didn't race. In this system, the flywheel and alternator are combined, so the system is a mix of the benefits of flywheel energy storage and the well-known technology...

Con rod bearings, not leaded please

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In earlier RET-Monitor articles I have written about the application and challenges of lead-free bearings. Until now the focus has been on the main bearing shells, mainly linked to the crankcase main bearing bore shape and split line quality. In this article I will put focus on the application of lead-free bearings in the small end of the con rod, as well as the design features for creating a reliable small end. A number articles, in both Race Engine Technology magazine and here in...

The domed tappet

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For anyone starting out on a clean-sheet engine design it is always worth remembering the notice at the entrance to the Sahara desert. The notice, or so I am reliably informed, says something like, "Choose your rut very carefully…. you will be in it for the next 500 miles!" And for those who have had the good fortune to design a totally new engine, such a warning can never be taken too lightly, because design decisions made in the early stages can often bite back on you much...

Silver plating of fasteners

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The matter of selecting the correct material for fasteners is an important one. The design engineer or engine development specialist has to be sure that the material is strong enough to resist the applied loads and have the fatigue resistance to continue in its role between engine rebuilds. There are a huge number of materials offered by manufacturers of fasteners depending on the application, service loads, environment and so on. The job of those working with internal combustion engines...