Ignition Simulation and Visualization for Spark Plug Electrode Design 2007-01-0940
An ignition simulation and an ignition visualization method that analyze effects of spark plug electrode design have been developed. In the ignition simulation, a programmed heat source corresponds to the discharge energy in the spark gap, and the flame-kernel generation and flame propagation are calculated on the heat balance in the gap, in consideration of thermal transmission to the electrodes. The results by this simulation indicate that high ignitability of fine ground electrode spark plugs is because the miniaturization of the ground electrode reduces the heat loss, and flame growth is thus less disturbed by the loss. The ignition visualization includes taking Schlieren images by laser light to capture flame kernels with weaker luminescence intensity compared to ignition discharge spark luminescence. This visualization enables the observation of the influence of the shape of spark plug electrodes on flame growth. And the results by this visualization show that the fine ground electrode spark plugs can get higher ignitability than conventional spark plugs. The effect of the spark plug electrode design and the mechanism is clarified by these methods.