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Titanium alloys

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My previous article on titanium alloys looked at the possible benefits that Ti10-2-3 - an alloy containing 10% vanadium, 2% iron and 3% aluminium - might offer compared to the widely used Ti6-4 material. Ti10-2-3 has found wide use on military and civilian aircraft, commonly in structures where steel has traditionally been the material of choice. As in motor racing, there is a great advantage to be had in the aerospace industry in terms of mass reduction. Since the widespread adoption of...

Porsche hybrid

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During 2010, Porsche achieved another significant first when it won an important motor race using a hybrid vehicle that stored its energy mechanically. When Formula One embraced KERS technology in 2009, the teams which raced these systems did so successfully using chemical storage of energy in the form of batteries. Williams had developed, but didn't race, its flywheel/electric system. Flybrid's pure mechanical system promises excellent efficiency, low mass and good durability, but...

Split cams

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A few months ago, in May I believe, we looked at a variable duration cam made in two pieces. While this was a novel approach to optimising the airflow into an engine over a range of conditions, reader Reine Gustafson of AGAP in Sweden contacted me recently about another cam design idea. This too consists of more than one piece and, as you will see, is simplicity itself. Now there can't be a cam designer or engine builder who hasn't been confronted with this problem at times and who...

DLC coatings with improved properties

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In researching a recent article on this subject in Race Engine Technology (issue 47, June/July 2010), I spoke to many companies and discussed all kinds of coatings. DLC has been around for a number of years now and its use is widespread; however, this coating still attracts a lot of R&D spending for process development. The aims of this are generally to produce an improved coating in terms of one or more parameters. It would be considered a worthwhile step forward in coating technology...

Location of connecting rod caps, part 1

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In an article published in 2009, I looked at some of the design features of the joint face of a split con rod. One important requirement is that the two parts of the con rod - the 'blade' of the rod and its cap - must be positively and reliably located with respect to each other. It is important that these location features are machined into the rod before the big-end bore is finished to size. This guarantees that when the rod is assembled and the bolts pre-loaded to their design...