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The Greening of Formula One

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It seems ironic to think that amid the hype of the introduction of kinetic energy recycling systems (KERS) for the 2009 season, the real ‘greening’ of our premier racing category started precisely one year before. At that time the ‘green’ debate was at its height and faced with EU legislation covering road fuels for 2010, the FIA unilaterally introduced the ruling that for 2008 a minimum of 5.75% by mass of the fuel must comprise of oxygenates ‘derived from...

Commonality the aim

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NASCAR is moving toward parts commonality in nearly every facet of its competition. Currently, discussions are underway to produce an oil pump system that is common to all three of NASCAR’s national series: Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.While this change likely will not occur until the 2010 season begins, NASCAR is considering announcing a rules change midway through the current campaign. Communising parts between the three series should eventually...

Steel monotherm diesel race piston

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The piston lives at the interface of two hostile environments. One dominated by extreme temperature and pressure, and the other by inertia, kinetic energy and friction.Piston development is an unceasing challenge for the powertrain engineer and the tools of his trade are to be found in many diverse areas, spanning a whole gamut of bespoke materials, advanced tribological solutions, surface topography, treatments and finishes through to the ingenious oil cooling solutions found in modern...

Piston ring trends

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The piston rings in an engine serve to act as a seal to prevent the escape of fresh inlet charge and combustion products into the crankcase, and also to prevent an excess of crankcase oil from reaching the combustion chamber. As such they are an important component to consider in engine design. Poorly performing rings can lead to poor engine performance and increased oil consumption.The general trend in piston ring design is towards lighter weight components and fewer of them. In...

Next generation passivation treatments

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Non-electrolytic passivation (often referred to as conversion coating) is one of the most common treatments for aluminum surfaces that need to be made corrosion resistant, while still remaining conductive electrically. Because of its ease of processing, it is one of the lowest cost anticorrosion preparations available.Chromate conversions (‘Iridite’ and ‘Alodine’) have been the traditional passivation application for aluminum alloys, both wrought and cast. The...