03-05-2008, 12:22 AM #1
Mikronite, REM, and intake grates?
I have a friend who builds Dogbox transmissions for DSM's. He was telling me about the gains in strength and how poorly cast metals can see huge increase in strength via Mikronite or a chemical process called REM. It got me thinking about how horrible and carefree the R&D grates are cast and how many of them I read about breaking. Is anyone familiar with this process? Has anyone done testing with it? On paper it seems like it could be a good solution or temporary band aid to the poorly cast grates. Lots of interesting reading if you type it in a google search
03-05-2008, 10:30 AM #2
Reducing friction is a surefire way to find speed, and on that note, I'd like to introduce a process designed to greatly reduce friction in almost anything mechanical: Mikronite.
First and foremost, Mikronite is not a coating; it's a process done to parts that uses a mostly organic dry media that carries an abrasive that is applied under extremely high load to add strength to, improve lubricity in, and reduce the temperature of a component.
"The Mikronite process is based on a simple concept of applying lapping-like scratching under extremely high compression," said Mike Demurjian of Mikronite. "Objects are placed in a fluidized medium containing an abrasive in a specially designed reverse centrifugal accelerating agitator. As the objects revolve, they are subjected to massive G forces - up to 40 Gs - so that very fine particles as small as dust operate multiple times their mass and weight. To solve the problem of static revolving forces because centrifugal forces spin things away from the center - the reverse centrifugal forces cause a wave-like motion, creating a sinusoidal agitation."
To the layperson, a race-car part, be it a gear, pushrod, valve spring, or similar item, that has been subjected to the Mikronite process looks polished and refined. I watched a ring-and-pinion and a set of valve springs receive the treatment, and the results were rather impressive. The ring-and-pinion was much smoother and even appeared to be deburred. And the process is not very expensive; the retail price to do a ring-and-pinion is $200, a cam is $125, and an axle is $50.
"The process works by compressing the exterior surface of an object to reduce slip planes," explained Demurjian. "To understand slip planes, visualize a brick wall, which usually cracks along a line that looks like a staircase. This fracture line is a slip plane. By compressing or meshing those relatively straight lines, the Mikronite process puts them in a tongue-and-groove or interwoven relationship. This produces molecular-level changes to the surface of an object without changing its size, shape, or metallurgy. As a result, surface characteristics of an object are optimized, making them harder, smoother, more polished, more uniform, and more corrosion resistant with higher lubricity and less friction."
Among the materials that can be treated are titanium, tool steel, bearing steel (such as bearing races), high-speed steel (cutting tools like drill bits, reamers, and taps), aluminum, tungsten carbide, and brass or bronze. Ceramics and glass can also be treated.
To the racer, the Mikronite process means extended life for parts, less friction, cooler overall operating temperatures, and more power at the wheels. Because the process, which can be applied to virtually any part of the car (crankshaft, camshaft, spool, guide plates, timing-chain gears, valves, and more), is not a coating, the size or shape of the part is not altered, so tolerances are not affected.
According to Mikronite's Mark Grigoletto, Liberty Performance Gear and champion racers Joe Amato, Larry Morgan, and Steve Johnson have used the process. In addition, Black & Decker/Dewalt offers Mikronite-treated cutting blades.
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