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MMC Finds More Motor Sport Applications

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There are several successful applications of Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) materials in Formula One, although their use in engines is currently banned. MMCs have also been used in other forms of motorsport, and are finding an ever-increasing number of interesting applications.A Metal Matrix Composite can be defined as an engineered material made from at least two substances, at least one of which is a metal, each having substantially different chemical or physical properties, and each of...

The future

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Given current Formula One Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) rules for Formula One, teams have found that the centre of gravity height and weight distribution penalty is less when employing batteries as the storage medium rather than a flywheel. Nevertheless, in future seasons, when the rules are modified so that the amount of energy that can be recovered is greater the required battery weight will increase disproportionately and it is likely that the balance will tip in favour of...

Make or break?

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In NHRA professional drag racing, main and con rod crankshaft journal bearings are among the items that can make or break a run. It stands to reason that when a team finds something that works well for them, they are inclined to leave well enough alone.At John Force Racing, Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli is one of the crew chiefs for the quartet of Funny Car teams. His prime requirement is tending to Ashley Force Hood’s Ford Mustang Funny Car.Occasionally, when Antonelli...

Timing is everything

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It is perhaps not widely appreciated that the stand-up comic and a camshaft have much in common. Both rely on split second delivery: the punch line in the case of the former while the latter ensures that the engine valves are opened and closed to a predetermined plan. If the punch line is too early or too late an audience who might otherwise be rolling around in the isles could be on the point of getting up and walking out.A similar metaphorical disaster could be awaiting the engine....

Self-applied engine coatings

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Several firms now offer specialty engine coating systems for use by individual builders and engine shops for a variety of applications. Common usages include thermal barriers, dry film surface lubricants, and anticorrosion coatings. In some cases, coatings can serve two functions, such as thermal barrier finishes for exhaust systems that also act as rust preventatives when applied to a mild steel exhaust header.While these materials have been available for quite some time, reports of...