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MMC Piston Alloys

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In a previous article on the subject of advanced metals, we reported on the properties and uses of aluminium metal matrix composite materials as used in the modern racing engine. As can be seen from the table in that article, metal matrix composites have a lot to offer the designer of racing engines. The obvious areas where we might seek to use stiff lightweight alloys are the parts which we need to accelerate and change direction at high frequency, and the largest and most important of...

Flywheel energy storage

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The use of a flywheel as an energy storage device is not new. The conventional heavy, metal flywheel as connected to the crankshaft of an internal combustion engine, is used as an energy storage device, releasing its energy in order to maintain momentum during the idle strokes of the engine. The mechanical KERS system has been made successful by producing a flywheel of low mass, small size, running at high speeds.The energy stored in a flywheel is given by the following formula: E =...

Tri-metal Journal bearings: materials and construction

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Traditional journal bearings for internal combustion are of the tri-metal type. This type of bearing consists of a steel backing, a hard middle layer and a soft top layer. Typical soft bearing materials are: lead, tin, zinc, or alloys of these metals while typical hard bearing materials are: Aluminium-tin; lead-bronze; copper-lead. The soft top could comprise of three layers, providing five metal layers. Journal bearings operate between the extremes of no lubrication on the one hand, to...

Stairway to heaven

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It always surprises me how often people approach a recognised expert in a particular subject and yet fail to act on their advice. We can all think of occasions when say, consulting a solicitor or lawyer, since theirs is a world of uncertainty and risk, it might be reasonable to seek alternate council. But in seeking advice from a reputable camshaft supplier it seems silly to ignore their advice and go for a completely different cam to that suggested. And yet, I am told, it still happens....

Piston Coatings

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During research for a forthcoming Race Engine Technology magazine article, Wayne Ward discussed the matter of coatings as applied to racing engine pistons with a number of the well-known suppliers, designers and manufacturers of racing pistons. The more specific point of polymer coatings in racing engines has been recently examined on the RET Monitor website, and the application of these to racing engine pistons was discussed. The focus of the discussion of polymer coatings on pistons was...