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Advanced Materials

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Last month we discussed the aluminium alloy AlSi10Mg and the fact that it can now be processed by means of a new manufacturing process. It is only because of the fact parts can be made of this material by this process that I chose to categorise it as being 'advanced'. The picture which accompanied the article showed a small aerospace part which would be impossible to make by other means. There is now, however, a wide range of materials which can be processed by this particular...

KERS lives on...

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While KERS has been banished from Formula One for the 2010 season, there are many in the paddock that have seen its worth in racing and relevance to modern road cars. Therefore, there is the plausibility that this item could return in 2011. In sports car competition, Zytek produced a hybrid system that was used by the Corsa Motorsports team in the latter stages of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, albeit to a mere fraction of its potential. While Corsa were not seen on the grid for the...

Getting the best from rolling element bearings

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Once problems with rolling element bearing reliability have been chased in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, is it worth trying to gain performance improvements? The rolling element bearing does consume some power. While mechanical losses are worth a little more than you might think, there are actually two gains made for every reduction of mechanical loss implemented. Every horsepower retained through eliminating loss is a horsepower of extra power available from the engine. But there...

Cam grinding the CNC way

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If you talk to anyone in the camshaft manufacturing business, it isn't very long before the name of Landis crops up. Old timers might reflect fondly on such machines as the Berco RAC1500 cam grinder - "The best manual cam grinder in the business" or be rather less complementary about the Storm Vulcan machine going back into the 1950s, but the one machine that everyone agrees upon, to the point where it is now assuming the position of an icon in the camshaft manufacturing...

Coatings on Con Rods

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Some of the important design features of the con rod have been discussed briefly in the articles on the RET Monitor website, and there has also been a recent RET Focus article in the magazine on the con rod. In that Focus article, we mentioned coatings, but here is a good forum to expand on the material a little further. Looking at the thrust faces of the big end of the rod, many people choose to run without any form of coating. If the lubrication regime is such that wear is not a problem,...