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NOS and Racing: Everything You Need to Know

NOS and Racing: Everything You Need to Know

Often termed Nitrous or NOS, Nitrous Oxide gas is used to accelerate the burning of fuel. The nitrous oxide in the engine is broken to supply extra oxygen to burn more fuel. This in turn increases the power output of the engine by allowing more fuel to be burned.

The term NOS is based off the acronym for Nitrous Oxide Systems, INC (Now a brand of Holley Performance Products.) NOS is part of a vibrant and rich history of racing in the US and around the world. Here is everything you need to know about NOS and racing.

A Short History of NOS and Racing

Nitrous Oxide was first used in the 1950s in American stock car races to cheat. Racing organizations banned its use when they first took notice of it because of both fairness and safety issues. However, the gas was rediscovered by drag racers and enthusiasts that wanted the extra boost. Sanctioning bodies around the world choose to allow or disallow NOS engines based on their rules. However, Formula Drift Competitions fully allow NOS.

What is NOS?

Nitrous Oxide or NOS is composed of 2 atoms of nitrogen and 1 atom of oxygen. It's a colorless, non-flammable gas which has a slight metallic scent. Under the right temperature and pressure, it's a powerful oxidizer.

Since these temperatures (560-570F) and pressures (850-1100 psi) can be achieved inside an internal combustion engine, NOS can boost horsepower and torque. Hence, the composition of NOS allows it to become a sort of catalyst for the race car engine. When decomposed, NOS allows the engine to burn more fuel than it does with air.

As far more fuel burns under these circumstances, a large quantity of nitrous oxide is required. It is stored in tanks inside the racecar.

How Does NOS Boost the Power of Your Engine?

When exposed to high temperatures and pressures, NOS breaks down into nitrogen and oxygen. However, the mixture contains 36.4% oxygen, far more than the 21% present in air. That's why NOS allows an internal combustion engine to burn through more fuel than under normal conditions.

Also, Nitrous Oxide doesn't contain other impurities like air does (Carbon, Hydrogen, etc.). Hence, less fuel is wasted producing by-products like water, and carbon dioxide. As a result, the fuel in the car burns more efficiently and produces more energy than under normal conditions.

Engine Damage Due to NOS

Deployment of NOS can lead to significantly higher pressure in engine cylinders. Also, Nitrous will cause the combustion mixture to burn much quicker, so your engines timing needs to be tuned to retard when the spark is ignited. If not, major engine damage can result such as destroyed pistons, crankshafts, connecting rods, etc.

Blaze Through a Bottle of NOS In Style With Threads from MotrHedz

Whether you're planning to tear up the streets or the track, you should have the right gear. Check out T-shirts and hoodies from MotrHedz to complete your drag racing experience.

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