Archive for engine

20,000 rpm not in F1

Posted in Noteworthy, Tech, Transport with tags , , on November 9, 2009 by Apollo

While it seems a bit silly for a business that sees fines of over £100 million as little more than petty cash or small change to speak of “cost saving measures”, F1 development rules still means that achievements are made that we may be cheated of seeing.

I had anticipated seeing engines running to 20,000 rpm in the 2009 season, but the rules outlawed this figure, and capped them at 19,000 rpm in the name of economy.

However, as anyone with an ounce of engineering knowledge will realise, to run reliably at 19 k, you have to be able to perform unreliably at higher numbers, and 20 k is only some 5% more in terms of revs, although that same engineering knowledge will also tell that the energy involved will increase by something more like 10%, and that doesn’t merit the same use of the word “only” that 5% merits.

In a 4-stroke engine this is particularly significant, since it means the reciprocating parts – in particular the pistons – also carry that amount of additional energy, and the con-rods have to haul them to a full stop and reverse their direction 333 times every second, or every 3 ms. These really are speed and energies you wouldn’t want to be too close to when a rod lets go, and the pistons decide to leave the engine.

With that in mind, I was intrigued to see a Cosworth engine test at 20 k, although it may be significant to note that the test was not maintained once 20 k had been reached, but was terminated almost as soon as the figure was achieved.

Piston engines can go much faster, but not as car-sized V8 or V10 designs. These engines are tiny by comparison and can be found in models, and turn at ridiculus speeds by comparison, many times that of their larger brothers, but then again, they are very, very much lighter, but can still be built of exotic materials – they use so much less!


V12 engine, modelled in paper

Posted in Noteworthy with tags , , , , on February 2, 2008 by Apollo

The following video popped up while I was hunting around for some other engine related info, and it reminded me of the plastic Visible V8 engine I had added to my collection of goodies from the past. There are some videos of this Revell kit online, but the quality is too poor for me to want include here – search using “visible v8”, there may be better uploaded later.

I have to confess to never ‘finishing’ my Visible V8, although that is not to say I didn’t complete the assembly. I had a problem in so far as some of the parts would have been sealed into opaque compartments if they had been glued shut as per the instructions, which I thought was rather odd. For example, the oil filter had a filter modelled inside it its casing, but the casing was opaque, so the fact that it actually contained a filter seemed a bit pointless. I’d also have to be honest and say that the fit of the parts was less than ideal, and the assembly ran very poorly, even after fettling the parts – it would turn, but the motor had a hard time, and my patience gave out when finding and fixing the ‘tight’ parts. The last aspect that I didn’t like was the wiring from the distributor to the spark plugs. This was all by push-in-and-hope connections. As an engineer, this offended me, and I always kept looking for a better way. There was also a desire to change the tiny filament bulbs to LEDs, but that never happened either – oh well, maybe one day.

Back to the paper V12…

It took approximately two years to design this spectacular magical art for you to put together. This “V12 four-stroke Engine” has semi-realistic exterior and interior detail. Each of 12 spark plugs (LEDs) is ignited accordingly to the moving cycle. Many moveable parts include a compound crankshaft, a rapid cooling fan, 12 rods and 12 pistons etc. It is made with paper entirely (except some little wood sticks,LEDs, some electrical wires, some switches, a motor and a battery holder). The instruction included in this kit is a CD-ROM (a PDF file) contains 595 pages easy-to follow diagrams and step-by-step instructions with more than a thousand detailed nice and clear pictures. All patterns are printed on 195 sheets high quality acid-free heavy paper, which can last for many years and will not turn brittle and yellow or fades with age. 1978 parts are to be cut out and folded. No paint applied. It looks pure and elegant. Various shadows created by different light sources make it look stunning. The origami-reinforced structure is applied in the engine (they will not be seen). The origami-reinforced structures make the model very rigid and keep the pieces in the accurate positions. It can be handcrafted with white glue and sharp knife etc.

More info, pics, and video can be found on the original site.