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DLC coatings

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Diamond-like carbon, the initials of which are used to describe the ubiquitous DLC coating, has found very wide acceptance in motorsport, especially in engines. Initially, it was suitable only for steels with relatively high tempering temperatures – high process temperatures would have led to many steels being ‘over-tempered’, losing strength and durability. However, in recent years much work has been done to reduce process temperatures, and this has meant that DLC coatings...

Hard anodising

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Where aluminium components might be subjected to wear in a race engine or transmission, hard anodising is often specified as a surface treatment. This process converts the existing surface to a thick oxide structure; the main difference between decorative anodising treatments and hard anodising is the thickness of this oxide layer. The anodised layer thickness may be specified and there is a ‘half and half’ rule that can be used to predict component growth. Half of the oxide...

Flow benches wet-flow testing

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Traditional flow benches for measuring cylinder head port flow rates are a useful tool for determining how efficient a particular port design is in terms of basic airflow characteristics. However, they are limited in that they do not show how a particular geometry affects other factors such as mixture suspension or distribution within the port. Aspects such as these can be investigated using modern CFD techniques, although this is still a very specialised field and an avenue not available...

NASCAR transmissions

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Transmission development in NASCAR’s top echelon of racing is tightly controlled by regulation, and no parts may be changed or modified without the governing body’s approval. This does not mean, however, that transmission manufacturers’ r&d departments sit idle, and Cup car gearboxes are constantly subject to small revisions to improve their efficiency and reliability. As with so many components in modern NASCAR the four-speed transmissions found in Cup cars, though...

Surface treatments for timing gears

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With the dominance of the four-stroke engine in both the automotive passenger car market and most types of motorsport, there are plenty of opportunities for suppliers of timing gears to improve either on standard equipment or to optimise these components in bespoke engines. With timing gears, what we want often want to do is improve durability while decreasing inertia and component mass. A number of surface treatments can help us achieve these goals. Carburising, also commonly referred to...