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Composites resin transfer moulding

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Carbon composite transmission casings are currently the sole preserve of Formula One and top-level sportscar racing, owing to the very high costs involved in developing and producing a functional casing. A transmission casing is an exceptionally complex component that has to withstand various torsional and shock loadings, particularly when used as a structural chassis member. To produce a composite unit that can survive such loadings, extensive FEA analysis is required to ensure that the...

The Formula One clutch

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The transmissions used in Formula One do not require the use of a clutch during gear changes, and as such, drivers only use a clutch during the start of the race and when leaving a pit stop. Despite this infrequent use, they are still an important contributor to a car’s performance, not least because a poor start can ruin a race result. Carbon-carbon clutches have been the norm in Formula One since the mid-1980s, providing high levels of  bite and heat resistance coupled with low...

Pro Mod and Pro Stock manual gearboxes

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Pro Mod and Pro Stock drag racing classes still see manual transmissions used in competition, and they range from two-speed units on short, eighth-of-a-mile courses to five speeds on quarter-miles. In Pro Mod the use of manuals is optional; in Pro Stock they are mandatory. Given these cars’ prodigious power outputs, the transmissions they use are rather different from those found in other, less potent race machinery. One of the most popular set-ups is a transmission using a planetary...

NASCAR transmissions

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Transmission development in NASCAR’s top echelon of racing is tightly controlled by regulation, and no parts may be changed or modified without the governing body’s approval. This does not mean, however, that transmission manufacturers’ r&d departments sit idle, and Cup car gearboxes are constantly subject to small revisions to improve their efficiency and reliability. As with so many components in modern NASCAR the four-speed transmissions found in Cup cars, though...

Gear materials and manufacture

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In previous RET-Monitors we have looked at the construction of racing gearbox casings; however, as regards performance and durability, the materials and manufacturing techniques used for their internals are even more important. Although often housed in very different packages, the gears used in transmissions destined for racing use are essentially the same whether they are for a Formula One car or a WRC racer. Generally, racing transmission manufacturers produce gear sets from high-quality...