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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.
Technical Paper

Effects of Variations in Market Gasoline Properties on HCCI Load Limits

The impact of market-fuel variations on the HCCI operating range was measured in a 2.3L four-cylinder engine, modified for single-cylinder operation. HCCI combustion was achieved through the use of residual trapping. Variable cam phasing was used to maximize the load range at each speed. Test fuels were blended to cover the range of variation in select commercial fuel properties. Within experimental measurement error, there was no change in the low-load limit among the test fuels. At the high-load limit, some small fuel effects on the operating range were observed; however, the observed trends were not consistent across all the speeds studied.
Technical Paper

Comparative Analysis of Automotive Powertrain Choices for the Next 25 Years

This paper assesses the potential improvement of automotive powertrain technologies 25 years into the future. The powertrain types assessed include naturally-aspirated gasoline engines, turbocharged gasoline engines, diesel engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, and various advanced transmissions. Advancements in aerodynamics, vehicle weight reduction and tire rolling friction are also taken into account. The objective of the comparison is the potential of anticipated improvements in these powertrain technologies for reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at the same level of performance as current vehicles in the U.S.A. The fuel consumption and performance of future vehicles was estimated using a combination of scaling laws and detailed vehicle simulations. The results indicate that there is significant potential for reduction of fuel consumption for all the powertrains examined.
Technical Paper

Achieving An Affordable Low Emission Steel Vehicle; An Economic Assessment of the ULSAB-AVC Program Design

Vehicle weight reduction, reduced costs and improved safety performance are the main driving forces behind material selection for automotive applications. These goals are conflicting in nature and solutions will be realized by innovative design, advanced material processing and advanced materials. Advanced high strength steels are engineered materials that provide a remarkable combination of formability, strength, ductility, durability, strain-rate sensitivity and strain hardening characteristics essential to meeting the goals of automotive design. These characteristics act as enablers to cost- and mass-effective solutions. The ULSAB-AVC program demonstrates a solution to these conflicting goals and the advantages that are possible with the utilization of the advance high strength steels and provides a prediction of the material content of future body structures.
Technical Paper

Dramatic Emissions Reductions with a Direct Injection Diesel Engine Burning Supercritical Fuel/Water Mixtures

Research conducted at the Supercritical (SC) facility of MIT's Energy Laboratory provided visual confirmation of a single phase, homogeneous water/fuel mixture near the critical temperature and pressure of water. Equal volumes of water and diesel fuel were observed to be completely miscible, and high temperature polymerization of fuel molecules was not found. This is believed to be the first observation of a solution of diesel fuel and water. This mixture was subsequently burned under atmospheric spray conditions with very low NOx, smoke, CO, and HC. The results suggested that in-cylinder combustion in a compression ignition engine was warranted. Tests were conducted in a single cylinder, air-cooled, naturally aspirated, 3.5 horsepower Yanmar diesel engine. The compressibility of this new fuel composition necessitated a modified injector to provide smooth operation.
Technical Paper

Inverse Method for Measuring Weld Temperatures during Resistance Spot Welding

A new monitoring system predicts the progression of welding temperature fields during resistance spot welding. The system captures welding voltages and currents to predict contact diameters and simulate temperature fields. The system accurately predicts fusion lines and heat-affected zones. Accuracy holds even for electrode tips used for a few thousand welds of zinc coated steels.
Technical Paper

Crashworthiness of Thin Ultra-light Stainless Steel Sandwich Sheets: From the Design of Core Materials to Structural Applications

Thin sandwich sheets hold a promise for widespread use in automotive industry due to their good crash and formability properties. In this paper, thin stainless steel sandwich sheets with low-density core materials are investigated with regard to their performance in crashworthiness applications. The total thickness of the sandwich materials is about 1.2mm: 0.2mm thick facings and a 0.8mm thick sandwich core. Throughout the crushing of prismatic sandwich profiles, the sandwich facings are bent and stretched while the sandwich core is crushed under shear loading. Thus, a high shear crushing strength of the sandwich core material is beneficial for the overall energy absorption of the sandwich profile. It is shown theoretically that the weight specific shear crushing strength of hexagonal metallic honeycombs is higher than the one of fiber cores - irrespective of their relative density or microstructural geometry.
Technical Paper

Modeling Costs and Fuel Economy Benefits of Lightweighting Vehicle Closure Panels

This paper illustrates a methodology in which complete material-manufacturing process cases for closure panels, reinforcements, and assembly are modeled and compared in order to identify the preferred option for a lightweight closure design. First, process-based cost models are used to predict the cost of lightweighting the closure set of a sample midsized sports utility vehicle (SUV) via material and process substitution. Weight savings are then analyzed using a powertrain simulation to understand the impact of lightweighting on fuel economy. The results are evaluated in the context of production volume and total mass change.
Technical Paper

Future Light-Duty Vehicles: Predicting their Fuel Consumption and Carbon-Reduction Potential

The transportation sector in the United States is a major contributor to global energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. To assess the future potentials of different technologies in addressing these two issues, we used a family of simulation programs to predict fuel consumption for passenger cars in 2020. The selected technology combinations that have good market potential and could be in mass production include: advanced gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine vehicles with automatically-shifting clutched transmissions, gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas hybrid electric vehicles with continuously variable transmissions, direct hydrogen, gasoline and methanol reformer fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles with direct ratio drive, and battery electric vehicle with direct ratio drive.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Ethanol Utilization: High Efficiency and Low NOx in an Engine Operating on Simulated Reformed Ethanol

The use of hydrogen as a fuel supplement for lean-burn engines at higher compression ratios has been studied extensively in recent years, with good promise of performance and efficiency gains. With the advances in reformer technology, the use of a gaseous fuel stock, comprising of substantially higher fractions of hydrogen and other flammable reformate species, could provide additional improvements. This paper presents the performance and emission characteristics of a gas mixture of equal volumes of hydrogen, CO, and methane. It has recently been reported that this gas mixture can be produced by reforming of ethanol at comparatively low temperature, around 300C. Experiments were performed on a 1.8-liter passenger-car Nissan engine modified for single-cylinder operation. Special pistons were made so that compression ratios ranging from CR= 9.5 to 17 could be used. The lean limit was extended beyond twice stoichiometric (up to lambda=2.2).
Technical Paper

Using Mass Spectrometry to Detect Ethanol and Acetaldehyde Emissions from a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine Operating on Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

Ethanol and acetaldehyde emissions from a direct ignition spark ignition were measured using mass spectrometry. Previous methods focused on eliminating or minimizing interference from exhaust species with identical atomic mass and fragment ions created in ionization process. This paper describes a new technique which exploits the fragment ions from ethanol and acetaldehyde. A survey of mass spectra of all major species of exhaust gas was conducted. It was found that ethanol contributes most ions in mass number 31 and that no other gas species produces ions at this mass number. Acetaldehyde detection suffers more interference. Nevertheless, it was estimated that detection at mass number 43 is possible with 10% error from 2-methylbutane. This new technique was validated in an engine experiment. By running the engine with pure gasoline and E85, the validity of the technique can be checked.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Evaluating Body Architecture Concepts Using Technical Cost Modeling

The ability to make accurate decisions concerning early body-in-white architectures is critical to an automaker since these decisions often have long term cost and weight impacts. We address this need with a methodology which can be used to assist in body architecture decisions using process-based technical cost modeling (TCM) as a filter to evaluate alternate designs. Despite the data limitations of early design concepts, TCM can be used to identify key trends for cost-effectiveness between design variants. A compact body-in-white architecture will be used as a case study to illustrate this technique. The baseline steel structure will be compared to several alternate aluminum intensive structures in the context of production volume.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Structural, Volume and Pressure Components to Space Suit Joint Rigidity

Gas-pressurized space suits are highly resistive to astronaut movement, and this resistance has been previously explained by volume and/or structural effects. This study proposed that an additional effect, pressure effects due to compressing/expanding the internal gas during joint articulation, also inhibits mobility. EMU elbow torque components were quantified through hypobaric testing. Structural effects dominated at low joint angles, and volume effects were found to be the primary torque component at higher angles. Pressure effects were found to be significant only at high joint angles (increased flexion), contributing up to 8.8% of the total torque. These effects are predicted to increase for larger, multi-axis joints. An active regulator system was developed to mitigate pressure effects, and was found to be capable of mitigating repeated pressure spikes caused by volume changes.
Technical Paper

Real World Performance of an Onboard Gasoline/Ethanol Separation System to Enable Knock Suppression Using an Octane-On-Demand Fuel System

Higher compression ratio and turbocharging, with engine downsizing can enable significant gains in fuel economy but require engine operating conditions that cause engine knock under high load. Engine knock can be avoided by supplying higher-octane fuel under such high load conditions. This study builds on previous MIT papers investigating Octane-On-Demand (OOD) to enable a higher efficiency, higher-boost higher compression-ratio engine. The high-octane fuel for OOD can be obtained through On-Board-Separation (OBS) of alcohol blended gasoline. Fuel from the primary fuel tank filled with commercially available gasoline that contains 10% by volume ethanol (E10) is separated by an organic membrane pervaporation process that produces a 30 to 90% ethanol fuel blend for use when high octane is needed. In addition to previous work, this paper combines modeling of the OBS system with passenger car and medium-duty truck fuel consumption and octane requirements for various driving cycles.
Technical Paper

Dual-Fuel Gasoline-Alcohol Engines for Heavy Duty Trucks: Lower Emissions, Flexible-Fuel Alternative to Diesel Engines

Long-haul and other heavy-duty trucks, presently almost entirely powered by diesel fuel, face challenges meeting worldwide needs for greatly reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Dual-fuel gasoline-alcohol engines could potentially provide a means to cost-effectively meet this need at large scale in the relatively near term. They could also provide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These spark ignition (SI) flexible fuel engines can provide operation over a wide fuel range from mainly gasoline use to 100% alcohol use. The alcohol can be ethanol or methanol. Use of stoichiometric operation and a three-way catalytic converter can reduce NOx by around 90% relative to emissions from diesel engines with state of the art exhaust treatment.
Technical Paper

Performance Assessment of Extended Stroke Spark Ignition Engine

The performance of an extended stroke spark ignition engine has been assessed by cycle simulation. The base engine is a modern turbo-charged 4-stroke passenger car spark-ignition engine with 10:1 compression ratio. A complex crank mechanism is used so that the intake stroke remains the same while the expansion-to-intake stroke ratio (SR) is varied by changing the crank geometry. The study is limited to the thermodynamic aspect of the extended stroke; the changes in friction, combustion characteristic, and other factors are not included. When the combustion is not knock limited, an efficiency gain of more than 10 percent is obtained for SR = 1.5. At low load, however, there is an efficiency lost due to over-expansion. At the same NIMEP, the extended stroke renders the engine more resistant to knock. At SR of 1.8, the engine is free from knock up to 14 bar NIMEP at 2000 rpm. Under knocking condition, the required spark retard to prevent knocking is less with the extended stroke.
Technical Paper

Investigating the Effect of Intake Manifold Size on the Transient Response of Single Cylinder Turbocharged Engines

This paper evaluates the lag time in a turbocharged single cylinder engine in order to determine its viability in transient applications. The overall goal of this research is to increase the power output, reduce the fuel economy, and improve emissions of single cylinder engines through turbocharging. Due to the timing mismatch between the exhaust stroke, when the turbocharger is powered, and the intake stroke, when the engine intakes air, turbocharging is not conventionally used in commercial single cylinder engines. Our previous work has shown that it is possible to turbocharge a four stroke, single cylinder, internal combustion engine using an air capacitor, a large volume intake manifold in between the turbocharger compressor and engine intake. The air capacitor stores compressed air from the turbocharger during the exhaust stroke and delivers it during the intake stroke.
Technical Paper

Flex Fuel Gasoline-Alcohol Engine for Near Zero Emissions Plug-In Hybrid Long-Haul Trucks

Internal combustion engines for plug-in hybrid heavy duty trucks, especially long haul trucks, could play an important role in facilitating use of battery power. Power from a low carbon electricity source could thereby be employed without an unattractive vehicle cost increase or range limitation. The ideal engine should be powered by a widely available affordable liquid fuel, should minimize air pollutant emissions, and should provide lower greenhouse gas emissions. Diesel engines could fall short in meeting these objectives, especially because of high emissions. In this paper we analyze the potential for a flex fuel gasoline-alcohol engine approach for a series hybrid powertrain. In this approach the engine would provide comparable (or possibly greater) efficiency than a diesel engine while also providing 90 around lower NOx emissions than present cleanest diesel engine vehicles. Ethanol or methanol would be employed to increase knock resistance.
Technical Paper


THE autoignition characteristics of several fuels under various conditions of mixture strength, compression ratio, and temperature have been studied by means of a rapid-compression machine. The behaviors of a knock inhibitor, tetraethyl lead, and a knock inducer, ethyl nitrite, have also been studied. Simultaneous records of pressure, volume, and the inflammation have been obtained. These records show the diverse aspects of the autoignition phenomenon and indicate, among other things, according to the authors, that a comparison of the detonating tendencies of fuels must include not only a consideration of the length of the delay period but also an evaluation of the rate of pressure rise during autoignition. Physical interpretations of the data are presented but chemical interpretations have been avoided. The work was exploratory in nature. The authors hope that the results will stimulate activity in this important branch of combustion research.
Technical Paper

Phenomenological Investigations of Mid-Channel Ash Deposit Formation and Characteristics in Diesel Particulate Filters

Accumulation of lubricant and fuel derived ash in the diesel particulate filter (DPF) during vehicle operation results in a significant increase of pressure drop across the after-treatment system leading to loss of fuel economy and reduced soot storage capacity over time. Under certain operating conditions, the accumulated ash and/or soot cake layer can collapse resulting in ash deposits upstream from the typical ash plug section, henceforth termed mid-channel ash deposits. In addition, ash particles can bond (either physically or chemically) with neighboring particles resulting in formation of bridges across the channels that effectively block access to the remainder of the channel for the incoming exhaust gas stream. This phenomenon creates serious long-term durability issues for the DPF, which often must be replaced. Mid-channel deposits and ash bridges are extremely difficult to remove from the channels as they often sinter to the substrate.