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Copper alloys in racing engines

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This is the first occasion where we have covered the use of copper alloys, and we shall look briefly at their main applications. Throughout the article the word 'bronze' is used: technically this is a copper alloyed with tin, among other things but bronze has also come to describe many copper alloys such as brasses (copper-zinc alloys) and others. In terms of four-stroke con rods, most of us will be familiar with the concept of using a bushed small end. In the vast majority of cases...


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Previous articles have mentioned a few materials that are used for pistons, and the subject was also covered in a recent Race Engine Technology article on pistons. But there is one material that has been hailed by one piston design expert I spoke to as being ideal here - aluminium-beryllium. Blessed with a combination of desirable properties that may be present individually in other materials, it would almost certainly have been the material of choice now, had it not been banned by the...

Advanced Materials

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Last month we discussed the aluminium alloy AlSi10Mg and the fact that it can now be processed by means of a new manufacturing process. It is only because of the fact parts can be made of this material by this process that I chose to categorise it as being 'advanced'. The picture which accompanied the article showed a small aerospace part which would be impossible to make by other means. There is now, however, a wide range of materials which can be processed by this particular...

New application of aluminium alloy

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Owing to the fact that the subject material of this article is, in itself, fairly unremarkable, we should, perhaps, consider what it is that makes a material advanced. Is it significant that it is of an unusual composition? Perhaps we consider a material to be advanced if it has unusual or desirable properties. Possibly a combination of criteria make a material seem advanced to us. An interpretation which I would like to use, for the purposes of this article at least, and perhaps for other...

Advanced Metals: Magnesium

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In previous articles on advanced metals, we have looked at a number of materials currently used in motorsport and some which are just starting to be used. In this article, we will look at a material which has, at times, been held up as a 'wonder-material' and at other times almost completely neglected when we consider engine design. Despite this it has been widely used in racing engines for structural and reciprocating parts, and is commonly found on many road vehicles. It is...