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Do you have any brochures or information about your products that you can send me?

We have a documents page on our website that contains information and instructions for use for our products. These documents are in Adobe PDF format and can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

What is a blower or flow bench?

A flo bench is a device that produces air movement through a closed circuit inducing a difference in air pressure inside the circuit. The volume of air moving in the closed circuit is measured in relation to the differential pressure across this circuit.

Why a wind tunnel?

Items that circulate air, such as manifolds and cylinder heads, can often be improved in some way. Since improving the airflow of racing internal combustion engines often leads to greater power and efficiency, a flow bench can help determine the best method to improve that airflow.

Cylinder head intake ports are usually the best place to improve airflow due to the constraints of factory molding at a reasonable cost. Large volume castings often lead to compromises in relation to the ideal duct. By reworking factory-molded passages by hand with milling cutters, ducts can often pass air much more efficiently. This is called "Porting".

While the work of a cylinder head can often improve airflow efficiency for racing engines, it is not always the case. Working areas of a duct that do not need to be touched up can result in decreased flow rate and slower gas velocities. This is why the best racing engine builders use a wind tunnel not only to determine the end result of their work, but also as a valuable tool during the porting process to determine the areas of a duct that need to be improved and areas that should be left intact.

Why a wind tunnel? Isn't a bigger duct always better?

Generally speaking, you want to improve the volumetric flow while keeping the tubing size as small as possible. This should give you the best overall performance over a wide range of engine speeds. This is especially important for rally engines.

The air flow in an intake duct does not flow in a stable and continuous mode. When the intake valve (s) close, the air flow in the duct stops and even reverses. When the intake valve (s) open, we want the column of air from the intake duct to enter the combustion chamber as quickly as possible. The air column in the smaller duct, having less mass, moves faster than the air column in a larger duct. A faster column of air will also continue to fill the cylinder as the piston reaches the bottom of its stroke.

By using a flow bench it is possible to determine where a duct can be improved to increase flow without having to remove too much material. If you remove material from a duct and your flow rate does not increase, you are only increasing the size and mass of the air column in your duct.

It is very easy to make a passage section too large for the size of the valve (s) used. By using a flow bench, you can determine when your valve (s) can no longer support the flow from the duct. Too often this is the case many times. The porter continues to increase the size of a duct without improving the flow rate because the valve (s) simply cannot support this flow. This will likely decrease engine performance.

How does a wind tunnel or flow bench work?

An air source (shop vacuum) is used to produce a differential pressure across the part to be tested (cylinder head, intake manifold). Differential pressure is often referred to as "vacuum" or "test pressure". The test pressure is measured near the part to be tested and is used as a reference. It is important to know the test pressure because the volumetric flow rate depends on it.

As the differential pressure of the air source moves air through the part to be tested, the air is also routed through a device (the primary element) which will measure the volume of air. This volume measuring device is often an orifice or diaphragm, it creates a differential pressure caused by the air passing through it. This differential pressure is measured and is used to calculate the air volume.

What is an air source?

For a blower, an air source is the device that creates a pressure difference that allows air to move from one point to another. This is what creates the airflow through a test bench and across the part to be tested. A shop vacuum is a good example of a small air source, using a vacuum motor to create the pressure difference. Many benches use multiple vacuum motors to create large amounts of air. Other sources of air are industrial blowers and centrifugal blowers. Most air sources are bidirectional for blowers, which means they can move air in both directions.

What is the test pressure? What is depression?

The difference between the absolute (static) air pressure and the atmospheric pressure at the place and time of measurement.

Vacuum is a term used to describe the differential pressure across the part to be tested. The term test pressure is often used.

What is a primary element?

A primary element is usually a section of tube that is fitted with sensors that measure the flow rate and speed of the fluid passing through it.

In a diaphragm flow bench, this is the orifice used to measure the flow rate through the part to be tested. Air passing through the test piece also passes through the measuring port. As air moves through the measuring port, a differential pressure is created across this port. By measuring this differential pressure, the flow can be calculated from the differential pressure and the orifice diameter.

What is a cylinder bore adapter?

For a flow bench, a cylinder adapter simulates the cylinder of an internal combustion engine during the cylinder head flow test. The cylinder affects the flow rate of a cylinder head, so it is useful to simulate the effects of the cylinder relative to the cylinder head during the flow test. Some cylinder heads can have a more or less important flow with cylinders of different sizes.

How important is the diameter of the cylinder bore adapter to the cylinder head flow?

In some cases, the bore diameter can be critical for cylinder head flow at higher valve lifts. But in many other cases, the diameter of the bore does not seem to affect the flow at all. Canted valve cylinder heads or hemispherical cylinder heads are much less affected by bore diameter. On cylinder heads sensitive to the diameter of the bore, the critical dimensions are the distance between the wall of the bore and the edge of the valve head. This can be adjusted by shifting the cylinder head on the cylinder adapter, which makes a small bore have the same effect as a larger bore by shifting the cylinder head. It is then important to note this shift for subsequent and successive tests.

What is CFM?

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. It is a measurement of volume (cubic foot) over a period of time (1 minute). 1 CFM = 2.12 liters per second. Unit widely used in English literature.

Can I replace my water pressure gauges with an FCU SmartFlow?

Yes, you no longer need your water or oil pressure gauges when using the FCU SmartFlow and its software. You also use the same connections as your old manometers, so you don't need to modify your measurement bench or do any calculations.

What is a calibration plate?

A standard seal is an orifice whose flow rate is known at a certain differential pressure. It is used to calibrate a flow measurement system such as a flow bench. A typical calibration plate is a thin, flat plate with a hole in the middle. This calibration plate is placed over the inlet of the flow bench and air is drawn through the orifice at a precise test pressure to calibrate the flow bench.

Which shop vacuum should I use?

A 1000 to 1500W shop vacuum works great with SmartFlow. Tests of vacuum cleaners of 1000 to 1400 W gave the same results. You will choose a shop vacuum that uses a 40mm hose, and if you are testing exhaust, a blower outlet.

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