Performance car parts are great for getting a little extra horsepower from an engine and making a low-end car a muscle machine worthy of taking to a racetrack or a dragstrip, but how are they made? Here we are going to take a quick look at some of the production techniques used to create high-quality and high-performance car parts.
CNC machining, or Computer Numerical Control machining, is popular in a number of different industries and is often used to create performance car parts. One of the biggest benefits of CNC machining is its high precision, which makes it ideal for producing performance car parts. A computer controls all the cutting equipment, allowing engineers to design parts precisely and giving them a result that perfectly matches their design.
The machine typically uses a block of metal or any other material and cuts away unneeded and excess metal to create a precision engineered part. Performance car parts made this way can often be found in engine blocks, turbo-chargers, and superchargers, where the precise dimensions of the part are critical to fuel or airflow.
Carbon Fiber Kilns
Since the late 1980s, carbon fiber has become an incredibly popular material in performance car production, often used to make lightweight and strong body panels and aerodynamic parts like rear wings and diffusers. Carbon fiber is made from long strands of pure carbon molecules that are combined with resins and plastics to form shapes.
These are baked in a kiln at high temperatures to create extremely hard, yet extremely light parts in just about any shape or size that an engineer designs. Carbon fiber can be expensive and time-consuming to produce, but its increased popularity has helped to bring the costs down in recent years, meaning carbon fiber parts are appearing on lower-cost performance vehicles and third-party car parts.
Cold heading is a technique used to form metal parts without using heating and at room temperature, unlike traditional forging methods. Metal is formed using dies, hammers and punch blocks without being exposed to extreme temperatures so that the metal is not degraded or weakened in the process.
Cold heading is often used to make screws, bolts, nuts, and ties for custom performance car parts as it allows for a high degree of precision when making parts and the product can withstand the high demands of performance engineering, high speeds, and high temperatures.
Recently, more and more performance car parts and accessories are being produced using 3-D printing methods. Early 3-D printing used low-density resins and plastics to create designs quickly and inexpensively. These materials were not well suited to performance engineering but were used for prototyping and mock-ups to help engineers refine their designs.
Since then, 3-D printers can now use higher-density materials and even metals to produce high-quality, precision-engineered parts that are suitable for use in engines and various other parts of a vehicle. 3-D printing is becoming a more popular way to make performance car components.
These modern production techniques have helped to make performance car parts cheaper and more accessible to more people, and they have help engineers to quickly and easily create new performance parts for a wider range of vehicles.