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Technical Paper

Phenomena that Determine Knock Onset in Spark-Ignition Engines

Experiments were carried out to collect in-cylinder pressure data and microphone signals from a single-cylinder test engine using spark timingsbefore, at, and after knock onset for toluene reference fuels. The objective was to gain insight into the phenomena that determine knock onset, detected by an external microphone. In particular, the study examines how the end-gas autoignition process changes as the engine's spark timing is advanced through the borderline knock limit into the engine's knocking regime. Fast Fourier transforms (FFT) and bandpass filtering techniques were used to process the recorded cylinder pressure data to determine knock intensities for each cycle. Two characteristic pressure oscillation frequencies were detected: a peak just above 6 kHz and a range of peaks in the 15-22 kHz range. The microphone data shows that the audible knock signal has the same 6 kHz peak.
Journal Article

The Underlying Physics and Chemistry behind Fuel Sensitivity

Recent studies have shown that for a given RON, fuels with a higher sensitivity (RON-MON) tend to have better antiknock performance at most knock-limited conditions in modern engines. The underlying chemistry behind fuel sensitivity was therefore investigated to understand why this trend occurs. Chemical kinetic models were used to study fuels of varying sensitivities; in particular their autoignition delay times and chemical intermediates were compared. As is well known, non-sensitive fuels tend to be paraffins, while the higher sensitivity fuels tend to be olefins, aromatics, diolefins, napthenes, and alcohols. A more exact relationship between sensitivity and the fuel's chemical structure was not found to be apparent. High sensitivity fuels can have vastly different chemical structures. The results showed that the autoignition delay time (τ) behaved differently at different temperatures. At temperatures below 775 K and above 900 K, τ has a strong temperature dependence.