Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-2383
2008-10-06

Deposit Formation in the Holes of Diesel Injector Nozzles: A Critical Review 2008-01-2383

Current developments in fuels and emissions regulations are resulting in increasingly severe operating environment for the injection system. Formation of deposits within the holes of the injector nozzle or on the outside of the injector tip may have an adverse effect on overall system performance. This paper provides a critical review of the current understanding of the main factors affecting deposit formation.
Two main types of engine test cycles, which attempt to simulate field conditions, are described in the literature. The first type involves cycling between high and low load. The second involves steady state operation at constant speed either at medium or high load.
A number of influences on the creation of deposits are identified. This includes fouling through thermal condensation and cracking reactions at nozzle temperatures of around 300°C. Also the design of the injector holes is an influence, because it can influence cavitation. The implosion of cavitation bubbles is believed to limit nozzle deposits. Field and laboratory tests showed that small amounts (around 1ppm) of zinc tend to increase the formation of deposits and are therefore another influence. But it is not clear whether zinc acts catalytically to accelerate deposit formation or if it becomes part of the solid deposits. Bio-diesel has been observed to lead to higher deposit formation in the injector nozzle.
The chemical and physical processes that lead to deposit formation are not known or well understood, due to their complexity. A physical mechanism put forward focuses on the role of the residual fuel that remains in the nozzle holes after the end of the injection process.

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