High-temperature polymers

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
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The use of polymers in racing powertrains is relatively limited, their main use normally being as a matrix for fibre-reinforced composites. There have been a number of uses of polymers, both filled and unfilled, to the highest levels of motorsport. H... read more


Thursday, July 04, 2013
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The FIA regulations governing the materials used for the construction of Formula One engines prohibits the use of composites for major structural components, and this is set to continue, despite the fact that it is planned to use composite cylinder b... read more


Thursday, May 16, 2013
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One of the usual requirements when designing a race engine is low mass; low engine mass aids low car mass. Where there is no lower limit for overall vehicle mass, a light engine gives a light car and therefore the best possible acceleration for a giv... read more

Steel – powder metallurgy

Friday, April 05, 2013
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When we talk of powder metallurgy methods of manufacture, there are two almost unconnected methods. The first, which is used to manufacture near net-shape components, involves filling a mould with powdered metal and sintering it together under pressu... read more

Rapid prototyping

Thursday, February 21, 2013
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In the previous article on the advances in rapid prototyping materials and methods, some possible applications were mentioned, especially for exhausts. Laser-sintered exhaust components have been displayed at trade shows for several years now and the... read more


Thursday, January 03, 2013
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The class of metallic materials known as superalloys have been developed over several decades primarily to meet the needs of the aero engine industry, in particular their requirement for materials that can operate reliably at high temperatures. Despi... read more

Titanium crankshafts

Thursday, November 08, 2012
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It is said that humble pie is never a pleasant dish to eat. However, on this occasion, eat it I must. Only last year, in an article for RET-Monitor on the subject of crankshafts, I asked the question "Why Not Titanium?". The reasons given in the arti... read more

Aluminium-silicon alloys

Thursday, September 27, 2012
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Although cast iron has enjoyed something of a resurgence since the advent of compacted graphite iron (CGI) in passenger cars, in racing it is an anachronism, a throw-back to much earlier times. It is usually used for large structural castings only wh... read more


Monday, August 13, 2012
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The main constituent parts of a modern race engine are very similar to those we would have found in their ancestors of 40-50 years ago. Unless dictated otherwise by rules, we are likely to find aluminium structural castings, aluminium pistons, steel ... read more


Tuesday, July 03, 2012
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There are a wide range of materials used in the racing powertrain, but although much progress has been made since man started motor racing more than a century ago, the vast majority of a modern race engine and transmission is still made of metal. Ho... read more
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