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The monobloc engine

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Isn't it strange to think that what we regard today as being 'obvious' wasn't quite so obvious in the early days of race engine design. Take the head gasket, for instance. Today's young engineers are almost conditioned to think in terms of separate castings for the combustion chamber and valves, and that of the cylinder-supporting structure. But in days gone by, the very idea of having separate components bolted together with apertures where engine coolant, oil and...

Deformed head

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It's an obvious thing to say, perhaps, but while an engine has to contain lots of moving components in order to function properly, it also contains many parts that are not intended to move at all. For example, cylinder heads and crankcases are not intended to move, but they are still in motion. In this article, 'motion' means that by introducing loads to the structure of these components, continuous deformation will take place, depending on the magnitude of that loading. Where...

'Glaze busting'

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You've just reached the midpoint of the season, your engine is a little 'tired' and so you send it back for a general rebuild to tide you through to the end of the year. As a 'spec' engine, identical to others in the formula, the builder will no doubt strip it and check it for wear on the valve seats and tappets before rebuilding with new bearings and gaskets. But what does he do about the piston rings and cylinder bore? The engine may be slightly down on a cylinder...

Liner failures

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I don't know what it is about component failures but we engineers tend to find them fascinating. We may have designed and produced the most elegant piece of hardware, but it's somehow only when it fails - and the more catastrophically the better - that we sit up and take note. Sometimes it isn't the fault of the component but perhaps the environment into which it was placed. Sometimes it may have worked well in engines over many years and then suddenly as a result of a single,...

CFD for cylinder heads

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In my past three articles on heads-blocks, I took a closer look at cylinder head loading. The main focus has been on the thermal loads of the cylinder head and which parameters of its design are of most influence in preventing it from cracking due to the thermal loading - so-called 'thermo-mechanical fatigue'. In my most recent article, a number of options were mentioned to reduce cylinder head flame-deck temperatures - achieving good flow conditions and velocity of the coolant...