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Seal Elastomers - the lubricant angle.

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The interaction between the elastomer seals in an engine and its lubricant is an ongoing battle. Referred to simply as 'compatibility issues' by the specialists, the damage inflicted on the seal by the lubricant can manifest itself in two ways. The first of these is considered to be the direct chemical attack on the elastomer matrix resulting in its loss of performance (as a seal) while the second is the combined effect of this and the dynamic stresses applied. While the latter can...

Feeling the Heat (4)

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In the previous RET Monitor article on the subject of exhaust insulation, we looked at plasma sprayed thermal barrier coatings for exhaust systems. In preceding articles, we have examined the reasons why thermal insulation of exhaust systems is necessary in certain applications, and advantageous in many others. An alternative to coating the exhaust system are the various types of thermally insulating wrappings, which may be in the form of a metallic 'bag' or 'blanket' or...

Thread Inserts

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In previous articles on the subject of fasteners, we have dwelt very little on the subject of female threads, other than in the article talking of bespoke nuts. The other main situation where we will find female threads is where these have been machined into castings or into machined parts. Unless the rules forbid their use, it is likely that we will have chosen an aluminium block, or where we are designing bespoke parts, aluminium is a very popular material, either in its cast or wrought...

Alternative fuels

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I guess you could say that the first decade of the 21st century, in the world of motor sport at least, were the years of the alternative fuels. Diesel (yes, we're talking motor sports here), bio-ethanol, RME (rape methyl esters) and even CNG (compressed natural gas) have all been used during the decade for one kind of motor racing or another but there was one type of alternative fuel going back to the eighties and which didn't quite make the headlines, for obvious reasons - and that...

The Oil Filter

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Of all the components in a typical oil system, the function and hence usefulness of the oil filter in a modern racing engine must surely be one for review. Designed to separate the larger particles which somehow accumulate in the oil and prevent them from returning back into the engine, there is little doubt that in most roadgoing vehicles some kind of filter may be necessary. In a racing engine however, which is put together under the cleanest of conditions and then assembled into the...