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Students at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., used an ultra high-strength steel alloy to make key parts that reduced the weight of their race car, designed for Society of Automotive Engineers competition, and allowed them to make other design improvements.

RIT teams have placed no worse than second for the last seven years, in part by designing a vehicle that balances light weight, performance, and durability. For 2000, the RIT student engineers used AerMet, a steel alloy originally developed for aerospace applications by Carpenter Technology Corp. of Reading, Pa.

AerMet is a premium melted alloy possessing a high strength-to-weight ratio. It has tensile strength of 2,069 megapascals and fracture toughness of 110 MPa. Features of the alloy also include ductility, and resistance to fatigue and stress corrosion. The RIT design team used the alloy in the suspension and drivetrain of their vehicle.

In addition, the RIT team fashioned the hub assemblies that connect the driveshafts to each rear wheel out of AerMet. Student engineers also made AerMet spindles.

For example, they redesigned and built two new driveshafts from AerMet that link the differential with the car's two rear wheels, replacing the 300 M grade steel used previously. Using AerMet lowered the weight of the shafts more than 50 percent, from 5.1 to 2.38 pounds, and reduced the shafts' diameters by 30 percent.

The AerMet components helped the RIT racer win the SAE Best Engineering Design Award in June last year, and again in Birmingham, England, a month later, where the RIT team also logged the fastest autocross time of the day.

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Title Annotation:Rochester Institute of Technology uses steel alloy in race car design
Comment:LIGHTER PARTS SPEED A RACER.(Rochester Institute of Technology uses steel alloy in race car design)
Author:Valenti, Michael
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001

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