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Crankshaft Hardening

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In previous articles on the subject of crankshaft materials and hardening, we have made reference to the benefits of having residual compressive stress at the surface of the component. With the nitride hardening treatment used extensively on crankshafts, we not only make the crankshaft more wear resistant, but the change to the composition of the surface also imparts compressive residual stress. There are other methods of achieving this other than by nitriding the crankshaft, and we shall...

Crankshaft Oil Drillings

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We should all be very familiar with the primary functions of a crankshaft, namely as part of the mechanism which converts reciprocating motion into rotary motion, and to transmit torque to the outside world, where it might drive a gearbox, a generator or other piece of equipment. What a great many crankshaft designs also do is to provide lubrication channels which allow the passage of oil to the big end bearings, and possibly thereafter to the small end of the connecting rod. Many years...

Counterweighting methods

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In the design of crankshafts we have to incorporate counterweighting for various reasons, either for reduction of bearing loads, or to reduce or eliminate primary couples. Often this is achieved through careful design of the crankshaft and the counterweights are incorporated into the crankshaft. What we aim to do in providing a counterweight is to achieve a certain moment relative to the crankshaft axis. Depending on the configuration of the crankshaft these may or may not be directly...

Surface Hardening of Crankshafts

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In the previous article, we looked at the hardening and tempering of crankshafts. This month we shall look at the final and probably most important stage of heat-treatment, namely that of surface treatments, especially nitride hardening, more commonly known as ‘nitriding’. Nitriding is essentially a surface treatment, and its effect extends to a finite distance below the surface of the component. Before we start, we should note that nitriding, whilst overwhelmingly popular for...

Heat-treatment of crankshafts

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In the previous article, we looked at the first stages of heat-treatment in the manufacture of crankshafts. Certainly in Formula One, the most popular heat treatment that will be mentioned will be nitriding. Nitriding, as most of you will know, is a surface treatment which, if specified correctly, should have no effect on the bulk of the material, often referred to as the core. When we specify the material for the crankshaft, we need to be careful not only to specify the composition of the...