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Oil system CFD simulation

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Understanding the way oil moves around an engine is key to ensuring an efficient lubrication system. To this end, CFD simulation of oil flows can prove highly beneficial to the engine designer. While CFD in the racing environment is more commonly thought of in the context of vehicle aerodynamics, it also has extensive applications in the powertrain, particularly with regard to inlet charge and exhaust gas behaviour. However, this type of simulation, given the right tools and understanding,...


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When one thinks of transmission lubricants, oil is of course the first one that comes to mind. However, grease also plays a vital role in driveline lubrication. This importance was highlighted in the NASCAR Cup series at the start of the 2013 season, when a regulation change increased the loads at the rear axle. The regulation in question allowed for an increase in rear camber from the previously specified 1.8° to 3°. Although increasing the camber in an independent front suspension...

Variable-displacement oil pumps

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Most automotive engines, whether they are use for road or racing use, have fixed-displacement oil pumps. Most are directly driven by the engine, so in order to ensure sufficient oil supply at low revs – when the pump is turning slowly – the pumps are oversized for what is required at high rpm, where the pump is turning faster. Traditionally, the excess pressure is dealt with by an oil pressure release valve that bleeds oil back to the sump if the optimum pressure is exceeded....

Oil additives, friction modifiers and DLC coatings

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In a previous RET-Monitor we looked at the basics that go into producing modern racing oils, particularly the base oil stocks from which they are formulated. Although the base oils, particularly the highly refined PAO and ester-based oils, used in most motorsport applications have excellent inherent lubrication characteristics, oil manufacturers will invariably add other chemicals to tailor the oil for specific purposes and improve lubrication performance. These additives allow the...

Oil filters

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In the early days of automotive engine development, most engines made do without any form of oil filtration, or at best a rudimentary gauze filter. Until the 1970s there were mainstream production engines operating without any real filtration, a notable example being the Volkswagen air-cooled boxer (although did eventually gain a filter in the 1980s). However, ever-finer tolerances and longer service intervals have made filters an indispensable part of both race and road engine lubrication...