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UKIVA Machine Vision Conference



Join us on 15 July 2021 on the MVC Technology Presentation Hub and explore eight online seminar theatres. (more)

PPMA Show 2021

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

28/09/2021 - 30/09/2021

PPMA Show 2021 will be the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and (more)

Southern Manufacturing

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6TQ)

06/10/2021 - 07/10/2021

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

Lee Products - the force behind new Formula 1 wings

Lee Products - the force behind new Formula 1 wings
The fast moving world of Formula 1 motor racing technology is constantly changing as a result of the desire to gain an advantage in such a highly competitive arena, as well as the need to comply with ever-changing rules and regulations. An example of this is the decision to allow the use of driver-activated rear wings for 2011, which are set for a return to Formula 1, 40 years after they were banned on safety grounds in the 1960s. This decision was made at a recent meeting of the sports governing body the FIA World Motor Sport Council, with the objective of allowing more overtaking in F1.

One of the beneficiaries of this decision is miniature component specialists Lee Products who, over the past few years, have sold hundreds of solenoid valves to all of the F1 teams for a wide range of applications. These include, fuel flap, emergency clutch disengage, reverse gear selection, power steering, auxiliary lube oil tank top-up applications, as well as front wing control. In fact Lee Products specifically developed its 250 series solenoid valve at the request of its F1 customers and this was subsequently homologated by the FIA for use in F1.

The active front wings had a trailing edge which could be adjusted by the driver to increase downforce during braking. Active front wings were a feature on F1 cars for the 2010 season but have now been banned for the 2011 season, to be replaced by the active rear wing.

Drivers will be able to control the rear wing once they have been behind another driver for a set amount of time, thereby reducing drag on the straight and allowing greater opportunity for overtaking.

The wings are raised and lowered by a large diameter hydraulic actuator which needs to move very quickly and therefore demands a fast-acting, high flow valve to control it. To facilitate this Lee Products developed a 12v dc version of its 3-way high flow solenoid valve specifically for this purpose and several F1 teams have specified the valve for this function. This modified valve can operate at much higher temperatures, up to 165°C. Also, the original retaining nut has been removed to save space and reduce weight whilst the lead wires now exit from the rear of the valve instead of at the hydraulic end.

Lee Products' miniature 3-way high flow solenoid valves are a natural evolution of their proven piloting solenoid valves, which set new standards in reducing space, weight and power consumption. Valve elements are based on the low leakage, high reliability designs used in Lee check and shuttle valves. Functions and features include; 2 position, 3-way, 3000 psi, 4.0 USGPM minimum flow at 3000 psid (300 Lohms), single coil and an integral safety screen with .004 inch hole size. Power consumption is 7.8 watts at 18-32 vdc and they can operate within a -54deg to +135°C temperature range. Special 12 vdc versions are also available for motorsport applications. 

These solenoid valves are part of Lee Products' extensive range of plugs, restrictors, check valves, relief valves, shuttle valves, filter screens and flow controls which are all being used in current F1 cars and engines.

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