Performance gains through super finishing

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Sangha Racing, Fintek, engine technology, transmissions, motorcycle, super finishing, coatings

Better responses can increase confidence in machine, reducing lap times

Racing motorcycle rebuild experts, Sangha Race and Restoration, turned to superfinishing at Fintek in the quest for extra engine performance – that elusive goal of every competitive race team and rider. This is the challenge Kieran Sangha, owner, set himself when rebuilding the engine of one of his own race bikes.

“Simply refurbishing and replacing parts rarely makes major performance gains,” explained Kieran Sangha who, when not rebuilding machines for racing clients, likes to get on the bike himself and compete. “Friction between components is an engine and gear killer. The heat generated by the contact surfaces under constant stress from powering through the gears, while maintaining maximum revs, really dulls performance, possibly leading to component failure and not finishing a race – or worse, injury due to a mechanical fault.”

Sangha had attempted to mitigate these problems by vibratory finishing gear, shafts and engine parts. The surface finish of the components was improved by the process, but they still had a roughness that was noticeably uneven across the surface. Also, chemicals used with the media in the vibratory machines could weaken the metal and hardened surfaces. There was no major component life-span or bike performance improvement either.

Sangha Racing, Fintek, engine technology, transmissions, motorcycle, super finishing, coatings

Wear can be dramatic in race-spec components – on the Sangha Race and Restoration work bench

Sangha turned to extreme performance finishing specialist Fintek, who have been surface superfinishing parts for aerospace component manufacturers and top motor sport teams for over 30 years. Developments in technology means it is increasingly affordable to smaller teams and race engineers. The company’s newest extreme performance stream finishing techniques are capable of achieving surface smoothness values to Ra 0.01μm in a fraction of the time of traditional methods and with assured repeatable quality. They can also eliminate stress fracturing.

To meet his performance aims, Fintek developed a unique process for Kieran using an OTEC stream finishing system. Combined with a carefully balanced media size, precise calculated angle of emersion in the media and cycle time, they were able to produce a Ra 0.02μm surface smoothness in a surprisingly short time. As this process uses a none corrosive rust inhibiting solution, there was no weakening of the hardened metal surfaces and the parts emerged with a highly attractive polished mirror-like appearance. To the touch, there was an extreme smoothness extending evenly across all surfaces – especially at the root of the gears where other processes often fail to reach.

Sangha explained what this meant for performance, “Racing a bike is about feel – an engine, gearbox and suspension might all work well – but you can instinctively tell there is a difference with extreme super finished components. In testing there was a substantial five percent performance boost. Yet, it is not just horsepower gains, it is how quickly the engine makes power and how it feels when it is under load revving freely. Importantly, it runs cooler too. As a rider, confidence is critical – you can push it that little bit harder knowing the components and engine are reliable. Something overlooked by many of my customers.”

Sangha Racing, Fintek, engine technology, transmissions, motorcycle, super finishing, coatings

Back on the Sangha work bench after superfinishing at Fintek – ready to go racing again

Fintek’s process also contributed to the increased life span of the components. Less friction means reduced wear and less expensive time in maintenance and servicing.

“I will definitely be taking more parts to Fintek for the extreme performance finishing process. Sangha Race and Restoration has many clients racing competitively and I am sure they will want the same performance improvements,” Sangha concluded.

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About Author


John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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