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Fasteners: Back to Basics - Part 3

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Last month, we looked at some basic calculations regarding cyclic loading of fasteners. Engine design engineers need a good understanding of the subject in order to correctly design the optimised fasteners required, but also those whose business is in improving the performance of engines need to be able to calculate when the standard equipment just isn’t going to be good enough. We examined the concept of load coefficients and looked at a very simple example of how the load...

Methanol - fuel of the future?

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There is increasing evidence to suggest that the real fuel of the future, especially for motor sports, is methanol. Forget all this business about electric vehicles, these, in my opinion have no real place in mainstream motorsport. Alright, electric motors can pack a mean punch and I’m sure one could derive some kind of capricious pleasure out of racing these types of machines but for raw driving experience, not forgetting spectator appeal you simply cannot beat the sound and spectacle...

Positive Displacement Pumps - The Gear Pump

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Having established that a positive displacement pump is the only practical way of supplying lubrication to our engine, the question remains as to which of these many types is most suited. And to understand this it is necessary to examine the engine’s demands on the oil. In any high performance unit the oil has two primary functions: to lubricate (obviously) and to cool. For more mundane applications we can also include things like ‘to protect against corrosion’ or ‘...

Piston duel

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Coatings to enhance both performance and longevity are the centre of focus in the world of racing piston manufacture today. To learn more, particularly in a NASCAR context, we talked with Brad Green, an engineer at Mahle Motorsports in Fletcher, North Carolina. According to Green, all their coating manufacture is performed in-house. This, he told us, can provide shortened lead times and reduced costs when compared to shipping pistons to outside coating sources. It also “gives us much...

Piston ring coating compatibility

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Selecting a suitable piston ring coating is, dare I say it, rather like choosing a wife. Selected in haste, the time could come when you repent at leisure and very much like choosing a mate, under times of great stress, the issue is one of compatibility. It has long been acknowledged that the piston ring, particularly the top ring, has one of the most arduous tasks in the internal combustion engine. Having to seal the gap between the piston and bore from the passage of unwanted blow-bye...