Automotive Direct-Injection Stratified-Charge Engine Development in the 1970-1980’s 2016-01-0175
Spark-ignition direct-injection technology existed since about 1930 for the primary purpose to give multifuel capability over what the compression-ignited diesel engine could provide. In subsequent decades development of multifuel engines continued both as higher-compression-ratio “spark-ignited diesel” and moderate-compressionratio stratified-charge engines. Global events in the 1960-1970’s, namely the oil embargo, oil-supply crises, and the passage of the U.S. Clean Air Act intensified interest in such engines. The military and large commercial fleet operators were particularly focused on efficiency and multifuel capability over concerns for fuel supplies. Automobile manufacturers were focused on gasoline-fueled efficiency and the potential to reduce engine-out legislated NOx emissions with the stratified-charged combustion systems.
In this paper the major direct-injection spark-ignited stratified-charge concepts pursued during the 1970-1980’s are reviewed at a high level, and relevant references are cited. Examination of this development history should be of interest to those working on modern gasoline direct-injected engines, as a variety of concepts were pursued, with the physics of those combustion processes being pertinent to today’s systems in production and under development. In many cases advances in fuel-injection hardware, enabled by modern manufacturing methods, and control technologies, enabled by modern computers and sensors, have allowed design objectives of the past to be implemented successfully today.