Monday, 30 January 2017

Adaption A | The Science of a Dragster

For the Adaption A project I have decided that the subject for the infographic will be 'The Science of a Top-Fuel Dragster'.

The idea for the infographic is to showcase a top-fuel dragster and all the vital parts that make it the fastest accelerating car on earth.  To introduce all of the scientific facts to the infographic i wish to show the run of a top fuel dragster in slow motion so that i can show all the facts about specific parts coming from the locations they are found. I aim to talk about the facts in a order of which they are used. As the run is a straight line the infographic will follow a straight line also. After the slowed down run is finished and all of the facts are introduced the dragster will do a real time run to show the audience how fast it actually is.

As the infographic is about the science behind the Dragster's effectiveness and speed there must be a lot of research done into specific parts of the Dragster. I have therefore collated several facts about the Clutch, Engine, Tires, Management system, Supercharger and the Fuel system.

General Top-Fuel Dragster Facts

  • The car weighs 2000 pounds 
  • It is 500 cubic inches
  • It can do 0-120 mph in less than 1 second
  • It has 5G acting on the Dragster at it's highest speed 
  • It is the fastest accelerating car in the world.
  • It generates roughly 8000 horsepower 
  • A Dragster can hit 300 mph in the same time it takes a standard road car to go from 0-30 mph
  • The wind resistance hitting the Dragster slows it down to 4G
Engine Facts 
  • Engine is a V8 Chrysler Hemi
  • The engine block is made from billet aluminium 
  • The cylinder head is also billet aluminium 
  • The cylinder is a 2 valve hemispherical combustion chamber 
  • The engine ignites through the use of magnetos
  • It's 43 gallons of fuel that passes through the engine and to fire it off 2 spark plugs and 2 magnetos 
  • 1 magneto generates 44 amps of primary current 
Super Charger Facts
  • The atmospheric pressure pushes the air fuel mixture then it is forced into the engine under pressure, The job of the Supercharger is to allow this 
  • A standard car will breath air at atmospheric pressure 
  • Through the intake valve the Supercharger will take a large gulp of air and then force that into the intake manifold
  • Near this there will be a reserve that will build up to approx 50 PSI of manifold pressure
  • Because air is being pressurized in the intake, the stream will result in a significant horsepower gain 
  • Although because of this process it will absorb 600 horsepower as a parasitic loss 
Some Pit Facts

The engine virtually destroys itself during a run and will need some love and care to get it to it's finest again. Although there are a few other things that may need replaced or refurbishing after a run.
They are:
  • Rings
  • Spark Plugs 
  • Connecting Rods
  • Clutch 
  • Pistons
In one run the cost can be up to $5000 in fuel, bearings, valve springs and other parts.

Fuel Facts 

  • Is Nitro Methane
  • Because more burning is possible more power is needed
  • Fuel tank is made of Aluminum 
  • Fits in the frame rails towards front of TFD
  • Tank can hold 17 Gallons 
  • Fuel line is 2 and a half inches in diameter 
  • A gallon of Nitro Methane costs $35
  • Fuel pump can pump fuel at 100 gallons per minute 
  • 1.3 gallons of fuel will be consumed by engine per second during quarter mile run 
Clutch Facts
  • Is the buffer between the engine and tires 
  • It uses 6 discs in a TFD
  • Several Levers on Clutch
  • This is because the TFD has no transmission
  • It is made from Sintered Iron ( Made from iron powder in a process that insures simpler fabrication and higher purity
  • Clamped with centrifugal clutch
  • During a run the discs will get so hot that 2 or more can weld together 
Tire Facts
  • Side walls of tires are 150.000 slick
  • The tires have a wrinkle wall slick meaning large flexibility when needed 
  • When starting tire will stick down to make a bigger footprint
  • the 36 inch diameter tires will expand to 44 inches tall during the run
  • The large tires on the back and the small tires on the front help to maximize straight line acceleration and speed.
  • Tires can last up to 8 runs
  • they cost $700 each
Management System Facts
  • Clutch engagement, ignition timing and fuel delivery settings are controlled via a small computer 
  • its located on the dash in front of the driver
  • Its a base set-up of ignition maps 
  • Clutch management is entered before the run and in the pit.
  • The final set-up is put into the car in the staging lanes, just before the run.
Parachute Facts

  • Parachute deploys at 300 mph
  • Normally used in the end, the parachute flys in the back and catches the air, therefore giving resistance force against the speeding car going the other way. The speed at which the car is going is the very thing that is used to slow it down. The air trapped inside the parachute will be pushed against the car that is going the other way, which will reverse the car's speed to resistance force. Causing the car to slow down. The brakes would not be able to handle such speeds alone.
  • Is released from a pre-packed parachute bag

Body Facts
  • Need to be as light as possible
  • Can be made from carbon fiber and aluminum 
  • Depends on chassis size as too how much is needed

Spoiler Facts

In the same way an airplane wing works to create lift, a Top Fuel Dragster’s wing works to create down force. As illustrated to the right, a wing’s shape dictates how the air moves over and under the wing. A wing has a high pressure side and low pressure side. The high pressure side pushes on the low pressure side. So the direction of this push either creates lift or down force.

The longer it takes for the air to pass over/under the wing, the lower the pressure will be on that side of the wing. And the faster the air moves over/under the wing, the higher the pressure will be on that side. So a Top Fuel Dragster’s wing is designed for the air to move as fast as possible over the wing and take as long as possible to travel under the wing. To create the down force needed to get the tires to gain and keep traction with the race track, three separate wings are combined to make the one big rear wing.

Chassis Facts

300 inches of chromoly steel tubing are required to keep a Top Fuel Dragster going in a straight line down the race track. 300 inches is the maximum wheelbase allowed by the NHRA. This long wheelbase helps the dragster keep its course and flexes at launch. The flex of the chassis allows some of the energy of the launch to be absorbed which helps the dragster gain traction.

4 main frame rails, two top and two bottom on each side, are the main structure with additional pieces creating triangles for strength. The most visible component of the chassis is the roll cage to protect the driver. The roll cage is a 6-point cage that protects the drivers head in case of an accident. It gets its name of a 6-pont cage because there are 6 points where the roll cage connects to the chassis.

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