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Con Rods: Application of Shot-peening

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In a number of previous articles, I have touched on the subject of residual compressive stress, and how this can be helpful to us in increasing the fatigue strength and hence life of components. This allows them to be smaller and lighter than would otherwise be possible for a given life requirement, and as designers and tuners of racing engines, this naturally appeals to us. Light components, most especially those that rotate are becoming more important than ever to the series production...

Crankshafts: Stress-concentration mitigation

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In previous articles on the subject of crankshafts, we have touched on the benefits of compressive residual stresses. Two methods by which this might be introduced have been discussed, these being nitride hardening (nitriding) and fillet rolling, although there are many others, some of which will be discussed at a later date. By imparting these residual stresses to the surface of the material, there is a large increase in fatigue strength, which gives a greater factor of safety against...

The sleeping beauty

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Can you imagine waking up one day and not remembering where you are? I'm only too certain that this may have happened to many of you after the recent festivities but the experience is probably something you would prefer to forget. Perhaps then you might spare a thought for the feelings of an engine upon being cranked into life. Waking from its enforced slumber the camshaft will tell it when to open and close the intake and exhaust valves but who tells it when to fire the charge and...

The cooling system

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A major consideration of any engine designer right from the outset is that of the cooling system. Even in the most efficient of gasoline race engines, only 35% of the fuel energy available is converted into mechanical power. The rest, something like 850kW from an engine delivering 450kW, is converted into heat which will need to be dissipated into the surrounding atmosphere. Putting it into perspective that's something like 280+, 3kW electric fires worth of heat, approximately half of...

The siamese bore

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As an engineer and a power unit engineer at that, many might say that I have little need of a dictionary. And in truth, since the vocabulary of engineering terms tends to be so exact and rarely found in all but the most comprehensive of lexicological texts, for very many years I have simply done without. But it was while thumbing the latest version of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) - the concise version I hasten to add, and a present given to me only recently, when I came across the...