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Form in place

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Form-in-place gasket technology is becoming widely available. Every time an engine builder has to lay a silicon bead on a head gasket, he finds himself muttering, “There has to be a better way to do this!”, as he wipes the goo off his fingers. Excess silicone sealant inevitably squeezes out at the joint, creating a freestanding bead of material that is held in place solely by a very thin film at the seal joint, creating the perfect opportunity for it to fatigue off and find its...

Keeping a cool head

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There is no doubt about it, the engine in your average family saloon car has come on a long way in the last 30 years. When once we struggled to get 100 bhp out of a 1.6 litre engine, today 100 bhp per litre is now easily achievable. Such are the improvements to the humblest of engines, the latest 1.6 litre Duratec although rated at 100PS (98.6 bhp) in the Ford Fiesta produces the thick end of 160 with only slight changes to the cam and induction / exhaust system. But for 200 bhp per litre...

The Cylinder Liner

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The humble cylinder bore seems to get very little press these days. Arguably the most critical surface in any combustion engine, the inside surface of any cylinder liner is exposed to the full flame temperature and the high pressures of combustion and yet still has to form an almost gas tight seal against the piston ring. And all this we ask with minimum wall thickness and hence minimum weight. While the more modern high performance engine designs might have any form of nickel ceramic...

Future Alternatives

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High-performance racing engines create a hostile environment with the presence of extreme temperatures and aggressive fluids. The polymers used for rubber seals and mouldings are often extremely costly, where even a simple O-ring can cost upwards of £35. However, recent advances in rubber compounding offer some lower cost alternatives. For many years, automotive seals were manufactured from nitrile rubber because of its excellent resistance to mineral oils and petroleum solvents and...

Biofuel results

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Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, a leading multi-national manufacturer of gaskets and seals, has published research into the interaction of sealing compounds with biofuels which will cause fuel system designers to rethink material selection for sealing gaskets and o-rings.Trelleborg evaluated the compatibility of typical automotive biofuels for both gasoline and diesel engines with a variety of fuel system sealing compounds, focusing on hardness, stress-strain and volume swelling.Initially...