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Measuring combustion conditions in a Formula One engine

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Being able to accurately analyse combustion pressures and other combustion chamber conditions is very useful in gaining a thorough understanding of a race engine. To achieve this, various dedicated sensors are needed. Some of the most informative are those used for measuring in-cylinder combustion pressures; however, combustion pressure does not often tell the whole story so, if resources allow, further investigation into the combustion process can be beneficial. For example, during the...

Developing a DLC coating for Formula One transmissions

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Transmission durability in Formula One is of utmost importance. The transmission must be as lightweight as possible, yet still provide sufficient durability to ensure reliable race performance, particularly as it now has to last for five races by regulation. In recent years the use of DLC (diamond-like carbon) coatings in transmission applications in Formula One has become widespread. The impact of such coatings on transmission efficiency and durability can be considerable, netting useful...

Combined valve locks and lash caps

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Some engine components are generally ‘out of the limelight’ as far as coverage in motorsport publications are concerned. Race Engine Technology magazine and these RET-Monitor articles tend to cover most items in detail, so you can find articles covering the most minor of components. Valve locks (collets, or cotters if you prefer) and lash caps (valve shims) are among those we cover, and are among the smallest and lightest parts in a race engine. Like me, you may be surprised to...

Regulations and CFD development part 2

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In my previous article on this subject I examined whether the Formula One regulations still make it possible to be creative with simulation methodology. In this article I want look at what those regulations implicitly prohibit, focusing predominantly on thermal applications.  The option to couple solvers is not limited to structural solvers. The new set of technical regulations in Formula One has put greater emphasis on cooling, and in turn on understanding heat transfer. This is an...

Carbon composite exhausts

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In the V8 era of Formula One, which ended with the introduction of new turbocharged and ERS-equipped power units in 2014, the level of component optimisation undertaken was, frankly, incredible. With many years of regulatory stability, teams looked to every quarter in order to find performance gains, with the key areas of investigation being aerodynamics and weight reduction. This led to the development of some unique components that used lightweight materials in areas where they had not...