Why Do F1 Racing Engines Use Tungsten Alloy Crankshafts?

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Why Do F1 Racing Engines Use Tungsten Alloy Crankshafts?

Compared with inexpensive lead, tungsten alloy not only has a higher density (60% higher than lead), but also lower toxicity. Compared with steel, tungsten alloy has twice its density and has the advantages of high hardness, good wear resistance, strong corrosion resistance, high melting point, and high-temperature resistance. Therefore, tungsten alloys have naturally become the preferred choice for crankshaft materials. It is reported that the crankshafts of the F1 racing engine often use tungsten alloy crankshafts.

Tungsten Alloy Crankshafts

Tungsten Alloy Crankshafts

The tungsten alloy crankshaft is the main rotating part of the crankshaft engine, which can accept the up and down (reciprocating) movement of the connecting rod into a cyclic (rotating) movement. When the piston moves up and down, the rod and the bearing make a circular motion, and then the crankshaft starts to rotate and then drives the flywheel on the other crankshaft to transmit the force. It can be said that the rotation of the crankshaft is the main power source of the engine and the energy source of the entire automobile system.

According to different functions, tungsten alloy crankshafts can be divided into tungsten alloy counterweight crankshafts and tungsten alloy power crankshafts.

The counterweight crankshaft is used to balance the rotating inertia force and moment generated by the connecting rod head, connecting rod journal and crank, etc., so that the engine crankshaft runs smoothly. It is worth noting that the counterweight crankshaft can be used alone and fixed to the crank with bolts, or it can be integrated with the crankshaft as an extension of the crankshaft. The power crankshaft is connected to the piston, which converts the up and down motion of the connecting rod into a circular motion to achieve the effect of transferring energy and also reduce the vibration of the four-stroke engine.

In F1 racing engines, it is necessary to use counterweights to maintain the balance of each piston’s reciprocating motion and connecting rods, because if the center of the engine is not balanced, the engine cannot be used. However, making the gravity of each part of the engine roughly equal in rotation can only be achieved by using tungsten alloy crankshaft counterweights.

Although the tungsten alloy crankshaft counterweight can significantly improve the performance of the car in high-speed motion, its design is extremely particular, such as shape, weight, and placement. The special shape helps reduce the turbulence of the crankshaft. And the quality and position of the crankshaft counterweight are determined by the engine’s cylinder, structure, and firing order.


Thank you for reading our article and we hope it can help you have a better understanding of the tungsten alloy crankshafts. If you want to learn more about tungsten alloys or other refractory metals and alloys, we would like to advise you to visit Advanced Refractory Metals (ARM) for more information.

Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, USA, Advanced Refractory Metals (ARM) is a leading manufacturer & supplier of refractory metals & alloys across the world. It provides customers with high-quality refractory metals & alloys such as niobium, molybdenum, tantalum, rhenium, tungsten, titanium, and zirconium at a very competitive price.

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