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The fuel tank and ethanol

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The use of ethanol in gasoline fuel has many benefits. Apart from its characteristics as an oxygenate and high-octane blending component, reducing the net amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is clearly one of them. But while farmers have benefited as home-grown corn or biomass is fermented into alcohol, the real effect of adding ethanol to gasoline on the classic racing community has yet to take its full effect. So while the US authorities have already sanctioned the widespread...

Single and multiple throttles compared

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Back in my distant youth, before the invention of electronic fuel injection, the twin-choke carburettor was king. Replacing a single-choke constant depression unit or less complex single-choke carburettor – one feeding all the cylinders – an array of two or three of these twin-choke devices under the bonnet often impressed my mates. With one choke per cylinder, and feeding air directly from the atmosphere without a filter or airbox, the induction roar gave the impression of power...

Developing a Formula One oil pump system

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All Formula One cars, including the current generation with 1.6 litre turbocharged engines as well the previous V8s, feature dry-sump lubrication. The demands placed on the lubrication system in a Formula One car are extreme, with high temperatures and g-loadings making consistent oil supply a challenge. It is therefore worth looking at some of the methods used to ensure an optimal oil supply, while also ensuring maximum efficiency to minimise unnecessary losses. Taking as an example the...

Rotation of piston rings

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Piston rings lead a much more active life than might be thought. While we usually imagine that they only reciprocate in a motion defined by the piston, they also rotate during service. Such rotation has been the subject of many experiments and studies over the years, but this is not simply a matter of academic interest; there are implications for engine performance and efficiency. With few exceptions, race engines use piston rings of the conventional gapped type – that is, there is a...

Vibratory finishing applications and parameters

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This time last year I wrote an article talking about the basics of vibratory finishing but did not mention many applications, and without writing about the specific instances where we might want to use low- or high-energy processes. In this article therefore I shall go into more detail and look at some cases where we ought to be careful to specify to the supplier exactly what we need. There is a multitude of applications for vibratory finishing in engines and transmissions, and the main...