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Aluminium

chris@highpowermedia.com
One of the usual requirements when designing a race engine is low mass; low engine mass aids low car mass. Where there is no lower limit for overall vehicle mass, a light engine gives a light car and therefore the best possible acceleration for a given engine output. Where overall vehicle mass is limited though, a light engine means the mass can be used elsewhere on the chassis, usually to better effect. Having spare mass means weight distribution and chassis stiffness can be experimented...

Formula One battery design

chris@highpowermedia.com
The introduction of hybrid systems to motorsport has been somewhat laboured, especially since there have been some successful roadcars that have used the technology for more than a decade now. Although the introduction of hybrid technology in Formula One had been considered seriously since about 2005, it wasn’t raced until 2009. Dubbed KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), it was scrapped for 2010, but has been a permanent feature since. In 2014, hybrid technologies will be a key part...

Bearing the strain

chris@highpowermedia.com
When discussing bearings it is sometimes easier to limit such studies to those of the crankshaft mains and con rod (both big and little ends). In more modern times the turbocharger bearing is perhaps attracting more interest, so these days we consider those of the camshaft only rarely. Running at half engine speed and not particularly highly loaded, the bearing design is probably dictated mostly by the process of assembling the cam into the engine. Inserted from the front or rear of the...

Hollow camshafts

chris@highpowermedia.com
Isn’t it always the case that when you think you have designed the best cam profile ever – at least in your opinion – somebody always wants it smaller, lighter and/or even cheaper to manufacture? Is it little wonder then that when everybody else is looking at magnesium cylinder blocks, metal composite con rods or ceramic valvetrain parts, the camshaft designer is looking to save, what, a few grammes? The problem with the camshaft is that other than tinker with the profile...

Doped DLC

chris@highpowermedia.com
DLC (diamond-like carbon) coatings are basically diamond, as their name suggests, but most of the coatings marketed as DLC are not these crystalline diamond coatings. Many people labour under the impression that DLC is one coating, but it is in fact a wide range of coatings which are based on carbon – hundreds of commercially available coatings are marketed as DLC. There are two types of bonds in carbon coatings, known as sp2 and sp3 bonds. Carbon composed solely of sp2 bonds is what...
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