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Glossary of terms you will come across during your Phase 2 training.


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This is when a diesel fuel system draws air in through a loose or badly sealed connection. The air that is drawn in can prevent the smooth running of the engine, or prevent the engine from starting at all.

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Allen keysHexagonal keys or wrenches used to loosen and tighten allen head bolts, like the ones shown below:

allen head bolts 

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Allotropy or allotropism (from Ancient Greek 'allos' meaning 'other', and 'tropos', meaning 'manner, form') is the property of some chemical elements to exist in two or more different forms, in the same physical state, known as allotropes of the elements.

Allotropes are different structural modifications of an element; the atoms of the element are bonded together in a different manner.
For example, the allotropes of carbon include:
  • Diamond (the carbon atoms are bonded together in a tetrahedral lattice arrangement)
  • Graphite (the carbon atoms are bonded together in sheets of a hexagonal lattice)
     


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An alloy is a mixture of metals. For example, the addition of nickel to steel increases strength and toughness. It also changes the rate of thermal expansion and the metal’s resistance to corrosion.
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The alt or alternative key on a computer.

Short for "Alternate" key. The alt key on the keyboard allows other keys have a third function. For example, the "a" key will produce a lower case "a" when used on its own. If it is pressed in conjuction with the shift key, it produces a capital "A". The alt key when used in conjuction with the "a" key would allow it to produce some new programmable function.

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Alternating current is the type of electricity we get from the mains in houses and workshops. On the Irish national grid, electrical flow alternates 50 times per second (50 Hz).

Mains voltage in Ireland is approximately 220V ac, and this is often written as 220V ~, with the tilde symbol (~) being used to represent ac. 

Also, position sensors on electronically managed engines (such as the crankshaft speed/position sensor) produce ac, but at much lower voltages. For example, on the Perkins 1100 series engines, under cranking, the crankshaft sensor produces about 0.4V ac.

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Electrical device used to generate electicity in plant vehicles. The device gets energy via a drive belt from the engine, and converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy to be used by the vehicle electrical systems. Once the engine is running, the alternator supplies all electrical loads in a plant vehicle.

The three things necessary to generate electicity.

Alternator, with part of the stator cut away and folded out to facilitate viewing the rotor.

As the name implies, the unit produces alternating current, which cannot be used by plant vehicles. This output must be rectified to direct current by using diodes.

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Non-ferrous metal, relatively soft, but much lighter than steel.
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Ambient simply means surrounding. For example, ambient temperature is the surrounding temperature.
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An ammeter is an electrical instrument for measuring electrical current.

Ammeters have very low resistance, and so must always be connected in series in a circuit:

Inserting an ammeter into a circuit.


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