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The application of tool steels in race engines

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The use of steels in race engines continues to be significant, owing to the combination of properties such as fatigue strength and stiffness these alloys offer. Within the larger category of steel is a still wide range of materials which are known as tool steels. These often have properties that go beyond the usual standards set by low-alloy steels, and were developed for use as tools, often for cutting or forming metals. Although metal-cutting tools are now often made from pure carbides,...

Why don’t we see more of flywheel hybrids?

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Motorsport has had an involvement with hybrid technology for more than the past five years. The Panoz Q9 from the late 1990s, often called ‘Sparky’, hardly set the world alight, but the technology was very immature compared to the level we are at now. In the mid-2000s, the FIA proposed that Formula One should incorporate kinetic energy recovery from 2009 so, from 2006 onwards, motor racing companies were working on finding ways to harvest energy under braking, store it until at...

Development of Honda’s Formula One con rod bearings

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Whether you are racing a go-kart or a Formula One car, the bearings that allow the reciprocating parts to rotate are of vital importance to both durability and performance. The sphere of Formula One engine development, while not unique, provides one of the sternest tests for bearing design, notably thanks to the ever-present battle to find a compromise between strength and frictional efficiency. For example, the development of ever-lower viscosity lubricants to reduce parasitic losses...

Limits to cam timing

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In anything but perhaps the most simple of designs the complete camshaft profile cannot be described by a single mathematical expression. Thus, when designing an engine camshaft, the profile will consist of a number of segments described mathematically and joined together to form a continuous surface, each segment being devised to create the motion desired at the valve. Where adjacent segments meet, this mathematical relationship has to converge to produce what is known as third-order...

Plasma,thermal sprayed coatings for use in electric,hybrid systems

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Whether we like it or not, hybrid systems – where we recover some of the waste energy generated when we burn fuel – are part of our future, whether this they be in our passenger cars or our racecars. Motorsport, certainly at the highest levels, has a choice as to whether it leads or follows. However, if it does neither, it will be isolated and will lose manufacturer support. I have had some involvement in motorsport hybrid systems over the past 15 years, some of it on the Panoz...