Browse Publications Technical Papers 2022-01-0400

Numerical and Experimental Studies of a Novel Dimpled Stepped-Lip Piston Design on Turbulent Flow Development in a Medium-Duty Diesel Engine 2022-01-0400

Spray-wall interactions in diesel engines have a strong influence on turbulent flow evolution and mixing, which influences the engine’s thermal efficiency and pollutant-emissions behavior. Previous optical experiments and numerical investigations of a stepped-lip diesel piston bowl focused on how spray-wall interactions influence the formation of squish-region vortices and their sensitivity to injection timing. Such vortices are stronger and longer-lived at retarded injection timings and are correlated with faster late-cycle heat release and soot reductions, but are weaker and shorter-lived as injection timing is advanced. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations predict that piston bowls with more space in the squish region can enhance the strength of these vortices at near-TDC injection timings, which is hypothesized to further improve peak thermal efficiency and reduce emissions. The dimpled stepped-lip (DSL) piston is such a design.
In this study, the in-cylinder flow is simulated with a DSL piston to investigate the effects of dimple geometry parameters on squish-region vortex formation via a design sensitivity study. The rotational energy and size of the squish-region vortices are quantified. The results suggest that the DSL piston is capable of enhancing vortex formation compared to the stepped-lip piston at near-TDC injection timings. The sensitivity study led to the design of an improved DSL bowl with shallower, narrower, and steeper-curved dimples that are further out into the squish region, which enhances predicted vortex formation with 27% larger and 44% more rotationally energetic vortices compared to the baseline DSL bowl. Engine experiments with the baseline DSL piston demonstrate that it can reduce combustion duration and improve thermal efficiency by as much as 1.4% with main injection timings near TDC, due to improved rotational energy, but with 69% increased soot emissions and no penalty in NOx emissions.


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