Archive for the Clutch Category

Clutch Test – Formula 1 Auto Parts

Posted in Auto Parts, Clutch, Formula 1 with tags , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by autoracingpower

This test shows the extremes that clutch on a Formula 1 racer can endure. This clutch can handle temperatures up to 1400C and beyond. Your everyday car clutch would not be be able to take this type abuse, unless of course you splurge and go for the Carbon-Carbon upgrade.

todpoli” (Youtube alias) explains:

“The idea in this testing is to determine if the Carbon-Carbon friction coefficient remains stable during this simulated slipping. The problem most F-1 cars have is the initial take-off from the start line. Because of the high RPM and total energy input, many materials cannot withstand the 1400 C temperatures without fading or losing friction completely. For this reason we test new materials to make sure the friction coefficient is stable through all conditions including initial humidity effects on C-C composites. Since C-C absorbs moisture when not used at high enough temps, the initial engagement may have a low friction coefficient at the beginning of the torque curve which is extremely important at the start of the race. C-C can be heat treated and doped with other materials to enhance the properties to ensure stable friction throughout the acceleration.”

Clutch and Gearbox – Racing Auto Parts

Posted in Auto Parts, Clutch, Formula 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2008 by autoracingpower


Clutch Control and Electro-Hydraulics

Formula 1 cars use a semi-automatic sequential gearbox with seven forward gears and one reverse gear. The driver changes gears using paddles on the back of the steering wheel. Electro-hydraulics perform the gear change as well as the throttle control. Clutch control is also handled by electro-hydraulics. From and a standstill, the driver must operate the clutch using a lever mounted on the back of the steering wheel. The modern Formula 1 clutch is a multi-plate carbon design with a diameter of less than four inches and weighing about 2.2 pounds. This small part can handle the 900 hp these cars put out.

The Dual Clutch Transmission

The current Formula 1 cars use a seamless shift gearbox called a dual clutch transmission. These gearboxes and clutches almost entirely eliminates the short power interruption during a gear change. The time savings from the shifting time being reduced is estimated to be about five to ten seconds over a course of a race. The shorter shift times are a significant gain considering how close these races can be.