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The use of soft metallic coatings

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Much of the focus in recent years in terms of coatings used in motorsport powertrains has been on the hard low-friction coatings, such as titanium nitride, chromium nitride and diamond-like carbon. These have served to reduce friction and increase the allowable contact fatigue stress in some critical components. Metallic coatings of any description have struggled to be newsworthy though, as they are unable to come close to the new engineering coatings in terms of hardness, friction or wear...

The Scotch Yoke, part 2

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In the previous article, there was a picture of a very basic Scotch Yoke mechanism, and the mechanically astute among you would have noticed some obvious problems with such a basic implementation of the principle behind it. The two glaring ones are high contact pressure in the contact between the crankpin and the slot in the con rod, and the lack of stiffness in the rod. If we deal with the first of these, this is solved relatively easily. If we interpose a bearing block between the...

Hosing for posing

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Over the years, many automotive parts have been made from rubber. Initially made from the latex of the rubber tree, the security of supply and the vast amounts needed during the 1920s and ’30s encouraged the development of synthetic alternatives. So while cooling system hoses may once have been made from any number of synthetic rubbers, these days they are restricted to more or less only two – ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and silicone. EPDM is the product preferred for...

Visco-elastic dampers

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In the recent series of RET-Monitor articles on crankshafts, we have looked at various designs of vibration dampers/absorbers that can help protect engines from the effects of torsional vibration. There is a wide variety of basic concepts and many variations on each, while some concepts that have disappeared from engines would be more viable these days thanks to new materials, production methods and the ability to engineer the surfaces of components. As with many aspects of powertrain...

Big Data

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Ask any engineer involved in motorsport about the real strength of a data acquisition system and they will say it is not the data itself but the quality of the analysis of the information logged. Whether you use a budget machine or one that can accept up to 1000 channels of high-speed data doesn’t make any difference; the real challenge is to understand what is being recorded and how to use that information to change the car, ultimately to make it go faster. At the simplest level, the...