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Combustion visualisation

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The focus on downsizing powerplants in many racing series, for example Formula One and sportscar racing, has seen direct-injection (DI) gasoline engines become more common. The development of such engines is no easy task and requires extensive simulation and testing to ensure that systems are working to their optimum. When it comes to testing and analysing factors such as injector spray patterns and the combustion process itself,  much reliance is placed on CFD simulation. However,...

Data logging

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No matter how good your engine dynamometer may be, it is all but useless without the necessary data logging equipment. There is a plethora of different data logging systems available to engine builders, providing all of the functionality they could wish for, but one key factor needs to be considered when choosing the right equipment, and that is the sample rate at which it can operate. Sample rate is the measure of the number of readings that can be taken in a set period of time, and is...

Engine simulation software

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The emergence of simulation software packages for engine design and testing has revolutionised the race engine industry. Whether it be for the initial design of components, evaluating particular aspects of an engine – for example the valvetrain – or assessing overall performance parameters, engineers can access a plethora of virtual tools to help them. In the past, comprehensive simulation – for example of gas flow within an engine – was the preserve of high-end...

Engine pressure transducers

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Pressure sensors are an integral part of advanced engine testing systems, particularly those used to measure in-cylinder combustion pressures. These provide an invaluable insight into the efficiency of the combustion process and are a vital tool for engine calibration and testing. However, the conditions present in many bespoke race engines can prove problematic for some sensor types, due to factors such as very high combustion pressures and vibrations caused by high rates of valvetrain...

Strain gauging

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On many racecars in series such as Formula One and Sportscar racing a large number of sensors, normally strain gauges, are used to assess the loads exerted on individual components within the driveline and suspension. This provides data for calculating the life of parts and later for rig testing and simulation programs. The data generated by these sensors can then be transmitted over a live telemetry link, allowing trackside engineers to monitor components in real time, allowing for the...