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MMC Piston Alloys

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In a previous article on the subject of advanced metals, we reported on the properties and uses of aluminium metal matrix composite materials as used in the modern racing engine. As can be seen from the table in that article, metal matrix composites have a lot to offer the designer of racing engines. The obvious areas where we might seek to use stiff lightweight alloys are the parts which we need to accelerate and change direction at high frequency, and the largest and most important of...

High-Strength Tungsten Alloys

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In a recent article in the crankshaft section of the website, I discussed very briefly the methods by which heavy metal counterweighting can be added to crankshafts. Heavy metal is the common term, but a more technically correct description would be dense metal, and these are generally tungsten alloys. The picture which accompanied the aforementioned article showed additional counterweighting mass in the form of cylinders or slugs of tungsten pressed into place in each counterweight. There...

Advanced aluminium alloys

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The previous article (Pin Critical) on Advanced Metals last month continued on the subject of titanium alloys. This month, we shall look in more detail at some of the more exotic aluminium alloys which are available, following on from a previous article in this vein. Whilst in some applications, a low modulus material is very useful (fasteners for example can benefit from having a low elastic modulus), in many of the applications where aluminium is used, high stiffness would be a useful...

Pin Critical

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The article on Advanced Metals last month looked at some of the titanium alloys currently being used in racing engines, and some of the alloys currently under development. The article mentioned that, despite restrictions on the introduction of new materials in Formula One, the engine manufacturers continue to invest time and resources to investigate materials development. The two main uses for titanium in racing engines currently are con rods and valves, although there have been efforts to...

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...