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Managing piston heat transfer through oil spraying

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There is a natural tendency for race engineers to try to improve the performance of engines - after all, this is precisely what many of us are paid to do. There are different ways to achieve this goal, but the primary focus for many of us is to increase the amount of energy converted from chemical energy in the fuel into kinetic energy. The rules impose various limits on us but, in general, if we are constrained on engine swept displacement as one of our development strategies, we will...

Why not titanium?

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There are some materials regulations in motor racing that don't make sense, because they stifle development and outlaw materials which just make good sense. The ban by many race series on the use of magnesium is one example of this, given that it has always been an affordable material and is common in series production. I imagine that many of those who write such rules drive around in cars with engines using magnesium. Materials are often consigned to this fate when they are judged to...

Turbocharging the ECU

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With a number of new race formulae moving over to pressure-charged engines, the second decade of the 21st century looks set to become the Second Coming of the turbocharger. The First Coming, of course - if my memory serves me correctly, back in the late 1970s/early '80s - was all about boost levels and ultimate power. This time around, with virtually all vehicle OEMs looking at downsizing and turbocharging their street offerings, it's about efficiency. And, as such it, will be more...

Cool bubble

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In this article I want to emphasise the non-material side of the cylinder head, focussing on cooling. Whereas in previous articles I have provided some insight into cylinder head structure and coolant flow, this time I will look at cooling mechanisms in the cylinder head. The unceasing demand for higher specific power has enforced higher operating temperatures on engine parts, in particular cylinder heads, which has a significant effect on thermo-mechanical loading and consequently on...

Thermal spraying of liners

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The inexorable push towards ever-lighter engines with even greater levels of durability is more pressing now than ever. Challenging targets for CO2 emissions (read fuel economy) in the road vehicle business, together with pressure on production costs in the motorsport sector are forcing engine manufacturers to look at parent metal bore technology in aluminium cylinder blocks like never before. Low-silicon (around 7-8%) aluminium alloys, the type favoured for casting, have poor tribological...