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Visco-elastic dampers

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In the recent series of RET-Monitor articles on crankshafts, we have looked at various designs of vibration dampers/absorbers that can help protect engines from the effects of torsional vibration. There is a wide variety of basic concepts and many variations on each, while some concepts that have disappeared from engines would be more viable these days thanks to new materials, production methods and the ability to engineer the surfaces of components. As with many aspects of powertrain...

Big Data

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Ask any engineer involved in motorsport about the real strength of a data acquisition system and they will say it is not the data itself but the quality of the analysis of the information logged. Whether you use a budget machine or one that can accept up to 1000 channels of high-speed data doesn’t make any difference; the real challenge is to understand what is being recorded and how to use that information to change the car, ultimately to make it go faster. At the simplest level, the...

Hotter than ever

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In my previous article I looked at the key differences between the former V8 and current turbo-powered Formula One engine blocks. The principal ones were far higher peak firing pressure and specific power, and because of these the main dimensions of the engine block have had to be modified in order to increase block robustness under these increased loads. Another significant engine component that has a direct relationship with these increased loads is the cylinder head, so let us take a...

Le Mans exhausts

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Not so many years ago, there was a united cry from all the teams in LM P1 not running diesels at Le Mans: “We can’t win”, and on the whole they were right. The rules are more balanced now though, and the diesel battle no longer exists. Audi is the only diesel LM P1 entrant, and competing with it are gasoline hybrids from Toyota and Porsche, to be joined soon by Nissan. Audi needs to remain competitive in the face of new competition, and its latest diesel engine seems to be...

Fatigue-resistant threadforms

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The term ‘fatigue resistant’ might be a little misleading, as it is not a quality that is in black and white but shades of grey, and any component can be made to fail through fatigue by subjecting it to a high enough level of cyclic stress. However, when it comes to fasteners, there are some design features, material choices and manufacturing methods that we can use to improve fatigue strength. Many of these have been covered in previous RET-Monitor articles in this channel. One...