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Fuelling on demand

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If snippets of information that filter down to me turn out to be true, the average motorsport engine ECU of the future will have to work a lot harder. It's all to do with economy - both in the size of the fuel pump and the amount of power it consumes. While the systems that give these benefits have been fitted on some road vehicles for many years it seems that motorsports, with the emphasis now more on fuel saving than absolute power, is beginning to take notice as well. In a...

Hot head?

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In my previous Heads-Blocks article I described the advantage of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) on one of the most severe cylinder head failure modes, Thermo Mechanical Fatigue (TMF). The main area of interest then concerned differences in material properties. Of course, material is not the only contributor to TMF robustness of cylinder head design, so in this article I will give an insight into another parameter influencing TMF, coolant jacket design. As mentioned previously, a cylinder...

CGI - The way ahead?

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At the time of writing there is much speculation about the new engine regulations in Formula One. Originally scheduled for 2013, the fact that discussions with the various interested parties are still ongoing must surely indicate that some form of accord has yet to be struck. In order to design and develop a new unit, as well as working out the best options in any semblance of order, two years is perhaps pushing things a little, so 2013 seems rather optimistic now. Gone are the days when...

Casting porosity

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As anyone who has ever built and tested prototype engines will vouch, apart from not getting the thing to fire and run, the next nightmare is the steady drip, drip, drip of a fluid on the dyno test bed's undertray. Large leaks - whether oil or coolant - are, funnily enough, usually the easiest to solve, where a loose bolt or a forgotten hose clip are generally quickly dealt with. Worse by far though are the slight 'weeps' - the leaks that appear out of nowhere, travel down to a...

Inconel exhaust systems in motorcycle racing

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We have become accustomed to the fact that many race motorcycle exhaust systems are made from titanium. Owing to the fact that they are generally much better supported than on most racecar installations, the problems with fatigue and creep are nowhere near as serious. One company, Good Fabrications, with extensive experience of many types of exhaust materials has applied its knowledge of special high-temperature materials used in other race series with great success to motorcycle racing,...