Engineering Behind Lightweight Flywheel

Part 2

Flywheel Materials And Their Effects

· Lightweight Flywheel


Flywheels can be produced from many kindsof materials, such as various grades of steel and billet aluminum. With variouschoices available, I would like to know how different materials affect integrity and drivability of flywheel. This question is significant, since many amateurs claim that the material can impact the drivability of vehicle. With so many different viewpoints regarding flywheel performance, I suppose this is a topic worthy of discussion.

Z: Forged or billet steel, forged or billet aluminum, or cast ironare materials they use to produce flywheel. For street vehicle, flywheelprovides rotating mass to make vehicle move from stand still, and engage clutch assembly as well.

For racing vehicle, flywheel is producedas small and light as possible. The lighter and smaller flywheel is and thecloser the weight is to rotational axis, the quicker engine can reach maximum RPM. This means corers can have higher exit speeds and top speed can be higher at the end of straights on the race track.

N: Steel, aluminum and titanium are materials usually used forproducing flywheel. Steel proves to be the best materials for friction surface,since it has good seatability and wear pattern. By comparison, aluminum is too soft and titanium is too hard. They use high carbon-steel and grain-formed forged aluminum to produce flywheel options, which I personally suppose would be ultimate benefit in aluminum alloy integrity.

Flywheel’s inertia properties are able toemphasize clutch features. For instance, light flywheel can make clutch feelmore aggressive. Flywheel’s ability of controlling heat and maintaining tolerance can prolong clutch performance and wear under extreme circumstances as well. The material of friction surface and inertia can impact driver’s feeling regarding clutch, which would finally impact other elements, such asperformance and wear life.

D: They usually use steel, aluminum and nodular iron for producingflywheel. With these materials, flywheel can have specific grade of metal,namely chromoly-steel, 1040-steel, 6061-aluminum and even 2024-aluminum. These different kinds of flywheels do not always impact clutch assembly or operation, since in fact, most of them are designed to work with specific clutches, in order to avoid harmful impacts.

For instance, flywheel made of2024-aluminum can work superb when matched with button-style race clutch. Butthis kind of flywheel would warp or even flex when used with a larger style diaphragm clutch. Driving or racing style will determine the style of clutch, which will impact the kind of flywheel needed as well.

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