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Halted progress

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The article on Advanced Metals last month looked at some of the aluminium materials which are being used and investigated currently in Formula One. This month we shall begin to look at some of the applications of titanium alloys, again at which materials are currently being used, and what might be over the horizon. The main applications for titanium in racing engines currently are connecting rods, valves and fasteners. Indeed, there are a number of production engines where titanium is now...

KERS put to the test

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RET recently attended the 2009 UK Formula Student competition at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire. Of the total 87 teams from 16 countries, seven were in Class 1A, of which four were from the UK. Class 1A is the competition’s low carbon category. Teams are encouraged to use green technology and alternative fuels to reduce their CO2 emissions. In an additional challenge, the teams calculate the CO2 and energy that are used during manufacture of the car. Teams compete in all...

Bearing the load

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“It is always a battle for our engine bearings,” says John Medlen, tuner for John Force Racing Funny Car driver Mike Neff in the NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. “Their survival is predicated on the cylinder pressure applied to the bearing and the manner in which we see a rise in that cylinder pressure. We have to look at the pressure curve,” he said. In all the nitromethane-burning NHRA classes, it’s “okay to have a high and long cylinder...

You’ve never had it so good!

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I think it was British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan who is claimed to have first coined the phase, “You’ve never had it so good.” In a speech at a Conservative party rally the phrase referred to the fact that after 15 years of shortages and rationing, the post war economy was now looking rosy again. But for anyone involved in cam design the phrase may be as true in 2009 for him/her, as it was back in 1957 for the people of Britain. Today, with powerful user-friendly...

DLC Coatings in Racing Engines

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There are a very wide range of coatings which are employed in motorsport engines nowadays, and Formula One has been at the forefront of this development for many years. The moot point of excessive budgets is the reason that Formula One has been able in many cases to be a guinea-pig for these exciting technologies and, owing to this development coatings such as DLC are now finding widespread use on series production cars. The aim in these production car applications is to decrease friction...