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Oil-shedding coatings

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There is wide agreement among racing engine manufacturers and builders that the source of much friction in the racing engine comes from the crankcase. These losses are not entirely due to the amount of lubricant in the crankcase, as I can attest from personal experience. But there can certainly be gains made in reducing frictional losses by minimising the amount of oil in the crankcase and better control of the oil that's there. In wet-sump engines the control of oil has traditionally...

Further Applications of Polymer Coatings in Racing Engines

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In a previous article on polymer coatings, I considered their application to pistons. Using polymer coatings on piston skirts remains popular for reducing friction and improving running-in behaviour. They have also been used for the rapid development of optimised piston skirt profiles, and this has been discussed in peer-reviewed technical literature. This month we shall look at some of the past and present applications of polymer coatings in racing engines besides piston skirts, although...

Coatings on Con Rods

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Some of the important design features of the con rod have been discussed briefly in the articles on the RET Monitor website, and there has also been a recent RET Focus article in the magazine on the con rod. In that Focus article, we mentioned coatings, but here is a good forum to expand on the material a little further. Looking at the thrust faces of the big end of the rod, many people choose to run without any form of coating. If the lubrication regime is such that wear is not a problem,...

Coatings: phosphating

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There are a number of surface treatments which go under the generic term 'phosphating', but not all are used for the same purposes and equally not all will be potentially of use to us as engine designers or in specifying parts which will increase performance or reliability. Phosphate is itself not a substance, but a negatively charged ion which may be found in solutions in a number of forms. The form which we might remember from chemistry (if we haven't used selective recall to...

Nickel plating

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Nickel plating is a common process, but there are two main methods of producing a thin layer of nickel on the surface of a metallic object. The first is to use a traditional electroplating process whereby the parts to be plated are part of an electric circuit and form the cathodes. A rod of the plating metal is used as an anode. These are immersed into a bath of electrolyte commonly containing a salt of the metal to be plated. In the case of nickel plating, the salt used is Nickel...