Salakazi Racing’s KTM nitro methane motorcycle/dragster does the quarter mile in 6.7 sec, with a terminal velocity of 196 mph. One key for reaching these speeds is an automatic three-disc, four-stage clutch fitted with a Proworx digital controller. That controller is pre-programmed for optimal speed given the racing conditions it encounters. Inside this clutch, there are a few tiny but critical devices. Among them are a pair of RM22 encoders from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom-based Renishaw. The encoders are both fast and precise enough to monitor speeds up to 30,000 rpm. One monitors the position of the crankshaft in the engine, while the other measures the clutch speed. When these two values are compared, clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can be determined with high precision.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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