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Joint Face Design

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Last month we looked at some of the aspects concerning the design of the big end and this month we pick up with further aspects of this critical area, namely those concerned with the joint faces. The big end joint is an important area of rod design, as it affects the durability of the rod bolts. If there is a problem with this joint, it will surely lead to a catastrophic engine failure – it would be a real surprise to find a loose rod bolt with no significant damage found elsewhere....

Heat-Treatment of Crankshafts

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The article last month covered the subject of materials used for Formula One crankshafts. This feature looks at the subject of heat treatments currently used in Formula One. As we saw last month, the materials in current Formula One use are mainly nitriding steels. By nitriding steels, we mean those with a composition containing elements which are strong nitride-formers, chief among these being chromium, aluminium, molybdenum and vanadium. As you can see from looking at the tables in...

Electronics v Chemistry

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Do we need electronic engine management systems? Really need them? Because controlling fuelling, ignition, even valve timing, duration and lift achievable through electronic control units doesn’t necessarily mean that is the best or even the right solution. That is a deliberately controversial statement but it is worth considering what lies behind it and what the alternatives and options are. At its simplest, an engine needs oxygen and the right amount of fuel in order to breathe....

Cylinder Heads / Blocks

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The process of engineering design is very much a compromise and sometimes, even with modern computerised techniques, several iterations may be required before the final, optimised product evolves. The design of a modern cylinder head can be a perfect example of this. Although four valves per cylinder with a central spark plug is ubiquitous in gasoline engines, as the included angle of the intake and exhaust valves becomes smaller, the architecture of the valve train and space for the...

Keeping the faith

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You can’t talk about cylinder liners for very long without referring to the terms of either ‘wet’ or ‘dry.’ Although fairly self-explanatory, these refer to liners, which are either in direct contact with the engine coolant or those which are not. And at one time, and more years ago than I care to remember, these terms may also have referred to a certain type of Tory politician. In those recessionary times (yes, we had them back then as well!) monetary policy...