Why It’s Impossible For An Engine To Rev Over 20,000 RPM

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This concept of revving a car up to is 20,000 is almost impossible, as not only one but also several factors depend on it.

Everyone loves high revving cars, for example, the Lexus LFA which has one of the best sounding engines that revs up to 9000 rpm. But Here we talking about revving at a peak of 20,000 which is insane. Why is it that it’s so difficult to reach that make? What is the limitation to it?

Things That Matter

Let’s know the theory behind it, the formula for horsepower i.e. torque x RPM. This says that the fastest it spins more is the horsepower output. Some factors that resist an engine from rev are friction heat and wear.

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Problems Behind It

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When we consider all components, there is a tendency that some parts reach a million rpm, so why is it difficult for the position to each 20,000? Let’s take an example, the Cosworth V8 Formula One engine that is able to rev up to 20,000 RPMs.

Problem 1: Reciprocating mass

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The piston weighs over 500 grams. And over every rotation, it produces 9,500 G’s at peak. This brings up the calculation of 4,750N forces that acts on the whole unit from the piston to the bearings.

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Problem 2: Valve float

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There are two types of engine blocks interference and non-interference block. The problem comes with the interference engine where the valve and piston share some part of the area simultaneously. So if the process operates faster it may happen that the position will hit the valves. This problem can be solved by using stiffer springs or technology like Freevalve.

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Problem 3: Flame Propagation

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The third problem is that combustion itself takes time. The problem starts with the fuel used as every fuel has different burn rates. This says that the positions with higher strokes will also take time, whereas a Formula One car has smaller strokes.

Concluding to the point that an F1 engine needs to have 5000 RPMs just to keep in running, as being a small stroke it generates less power. And this is also the reason why we don’t have it in the road cars.


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