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Joint face serrations

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The matter of how to positively locate the two halves of a conventional split con rod together is one to which there doesn't appear to be a single solution that everyone has adopted. In terms of production cars, the approach of using a controlled fracture is now very popular, and is being applied to stronger grades of material. Traditionally, racing rods have had their mating caps located by either the use of small dowel pins, or by ring dowels. To accurately and repeatably locate the...

The crossplane I4

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Yamaha is the only company running an I4 in the MotoGP series, a layout to which it has been loyal since the inception of the current four-stroke formula; all the other engines are now V4s. Having the cylinders in a vee, rather than in a line, allows the crankshaft to be shorter and stiffer, with fewer main bearings, and the engine to be narrower. This is, however, perhaps not such a great advantage. The reasoning can be found in the width of the human knee. Complete with protective...

The art of witty conversation?

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Pollution would seem to be an inevitable result of 21st-century life. Sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides and PM10s are destroying the quality of our air; industrial and farm effluent together with excessive use of fertilisers are contaminating our rivers; and general domestic waste, used for landfill, are all visible sources of our times. However, one source of pollution - not quite so readily observed and not generally recognised as such, but increasing daily - is that of electromagnetic...

Keeping it together

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What is the difference between a sealant and an adhesive? You may be thinking that this is a trick question, with a clever single-word rejoinder, but I can assure you that nothing is further from my thoughts. You see, when it comes down to it, the difference between a sealant and an adhesive can often be one of intent. The sealant is present to prevent the passage of a liquid (or gas), while the adhesive is more about mechanical strength and retention. I am reminded of the time many years...

Tough stuff

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Dare I say it but a good cylinder block can be likened to a good husband or partner. For as much as it is desirable to have the best of all the qualities in a spouse, in the end the woman has to make the best of what she can get and adapt it to suit. In a good cylinder block it is desirable therefore to be strong, mechanically stiff with a high resistance to wear on the rubbing surfaces, resistant to corrosion and have excellent thermal conductivity. Furthermore it must have low density,...