Validation Tests for a Fast Response Flame Ionisation Detector for In-Cylinder Sampling Near the Spark Plug
The air/fuel ratio (AFR) is a key contributor to both the performance and emissions of an automotive engine. Its variation between cylinders - and between engine cycles - is of particular importance, especially during throttle transients. This paper explores the use of a fast flame ionisation detector (FFID) to quantify these rapid changes of in-cylinder composition in the vicinity of the spark gap. While this instrument actually measures fuel concentration, its results can be indicative of the AFR behaviour. Others have used the FFID for this purpose, but the planned test conditions placed special demands on the instrument. These made it prudent to explore the limits of its operating envelope and to validate the experimental technique. For in-cylinder sampling, the instrument must always be insensitive to the large pressure changes over the engine cycle. With the wide range of engine loads of interest here, this constraint becomes even more crucial.