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Development of Honda Gears for Formula One Gearbox

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review F1 Special (The third Era Activities)

Summary

Development programs were conducted to enable the development of Honda-made gears that balanced low weight and compactness with reliability. Development of a technology for the formulation of gear specifications using FEM analysis and a method of predicting the lifespan of the gears based on S-N curves, which formed the basis for FEM analysis, helped enable continuous short-term development efforts. As gears would sometimes fail in actual vehicle tests, a method of evaluation of lightweight gears optimized for high-load, short-lifespan race use was established with the plastic deformation of the gears as an index. The lightweight, compact, and high-reliability gears developed in this process were employed in races from 2003, and were entirely trouble-free.
In addition, a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating optimized for race use was applied to all the gear tooth surfaces to boost the performance of the powertrain, helping to achieve a transmission efficiency of 97%. The coating was applied to different gear sets in sequence from 2007.

Author (organization or company)

Koichi KONISHI(Automobile R&D Center)、Hiroaki NOJIMA(Automobile R&D Center)、Teruoki NAGANUMA(Automobile R&D Center)、Hiroshi KIMURA(Automobile R&D Center)

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