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Heat-Treatment of Crankshafts

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The article last month covered the subject of materials used for Formula One crankshafts. This feature looks at the subject of heat treatments currently used in Formula One. As we saw last month, the materials in current Formula One use are mainly nitriding steels. By nitriding steels, we mean those with a composition containing elements which are strong nitride-formers, chief among these being chromium, aluminium, molybdenum and vanadium. As you can see from looking at the tables in...

Crankshaft Steels

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As was mentioned in the previous RET Monitor article on crankshafts, it is our belief that nitriding steels are the most commonly, if not exclusively used materials. This month we take a closer look at nitriding steels for crankshaft manufacture, expand a little more on the importance of the ‘cleanliness’ of these types of steel and touch briefly on the benefits of nitriding. The bar-stock used to make an Formula One crankshaft is not necessarily much different from that used in...

Tribology and Vibration

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The crankshaft is perhaps one of the most critical components in the modern Formula One engine; its design is full of compromises and its manufacture is complicated and time-consuming.The ongoing fight to reduce friction leads the designer to ever smaller bearings, but for each engine there is a point at which friction begins to increase again as crankshaft flexibility causes edge loading on bearings. There are a couple of options for bearings, namely the almost ubiquitous plain journal...