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Journal Article

Visualization of the Rotary Engine Oil Transport Mechanisms

The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. In order to better understand oil transport, a laser induced fluorescence technique is used to visualize oil motion on the side of the rotor during engine operation. Oil transport from both metered oil and internal oil is observed. Starting from inside, oil accumulates in the rotor land during inward motion of the rotor created by its eccentric motion. Oil seals are then scraping the oil outward due to seal-housing clearance asymmetry between inward and outward motion. Cut-off seal does not provide an additional barrier to internal oil consumption. Internal oil then mixes with metered oil brought to the side of the rotor by gas leakage. Oil is finally pushed outward by centrifugal force, passes the side seals, and is thrown off in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Visualization of Mixture Preparation in a Port-Fuel Injection Engine During Engine Warm-up

The fuel injection process in the port of a firing 4-valve SI engine at part load and 25°C head temperature was observed by a high speed video camera. Fuel was injected when the valve was closed. The reverse blow-down flow when the intake valve opens has been identified as an important factor in the mixture preparation process because it not only alters the thermal environment of the intake port, but also strip-atomizes the liquid film at the vicinity of the intake valve and carries the droplets away from the engine. In a series of “fuel-on” experiments, the fuel injected in the current cycle was observed to influence the fuel delivery to the engine in the subsequent cycles.
Technical Paper

Time-Resolved Measurements of Hydrocarbon Mass Flowrate in the Exhaust of a Spark-Ignition Engine

Experimental measurements of the instantaneous exhaust gas temperature, mass flowrate, and hydrocarbon concentration have been made in the exhaust of a single cylinder research engine. The temperature measurements were accomplished using an infrared optical technique and observing the radiation of the exhaust gas at the 4.4 μm band of CO2. Instantaneous exhaust gas mass flowrates were monitored by placing a restriction in the exhaust manifold and measuring the instantaneous pressures across the restriction. Time-resolved hydrocarbon concentrations were measured using a fast-acting sampling valve with an open time of 2 ms. From these measurements, the hydrocarbon mass flowrate is calculated as a function of crank angle.
Technical Paper

Time Resolved Measurements of Exhaust Composition and Flow Rate in a Wankel Engine

Measurements were made of exhaust histories of the following species: unburned hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitric oxide (NO). The measurements show that the exhaust flow can be divided into two distinct phases: a leading gas low in HC and high in NO followed by a trailing gas high in HC and low in NO. Calculations of time resolved equivalence ratio throughout the exhaust process show no evidence of a stratified combustion. The exhaust mass flow rate is time resolved by forcing the flow to be locally quasi-steady at an orifice placed in the exhaust pipe. The results with the quasi-steady assumption are shown to be consistent with the measurements. Predictions are made of time resolved mass flow rate which compare favorably to the experimental data base. The composition and flow histories provide sufficient information to calculate the time resolved flow rates of the individual species measured.
Journal Article

Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Ash Accumulation and Mobility in Ceramic Exhaust Particulate Filters and Potential for Improved Ash Management

Ash accumulation in the channels of ceramic, honeycomb-type particulate filters is controlled by several key parameters, which are the focus of this study. Ultimately, it is the formation of ash deposits, their transport, and the manner in which the ash accumulates in the particulate filter, which determines the useful service life of the filter and its resulting impact on engine performance. Although significant variations in ash deposit properties and their spatial distribution within the filter channels have been reported, depending on the filter's application, understanding the key parameters and mechanisms, such as the effects of exhaust flow and temperature conditions, as well as the processes occurring during filter regeneration events (whether passive or active) are critical in developing improved filter ash management strategies.
Technical Paper

The Theory of Cost Risk in Design

In a recent paper (Hoult & Meador, [1]) a novel method of estimating the costs of parts, and assemblies of parts, was presented. This paper proposed that the metric for increments of cost was the function log (dimension/tolerance). Although such log functions have a history,given in [1], starting with Boltzman and Shannon, it is curious that it arises in cost models. In particular, the thermodynamic basis of information theory, given by Shannon [2], seems quite implausible in the present context. In [1], we called the cost theory “Complexity Theory”, mainly to distinguish it from information theory. A major purpose of the present paper is to present a rigorous argument of how the log function arises in the present context. It happens that the agrument hinges on two key issues: properties of the machine making or assembling the part, and a certain limit process. Neither involves thermodynamic reasoning.
Technical Paper

The Sensitivity of DPF Performance to the Spatial Distribution of Ash Inside DPF Inlet Channels

Ash inside a honeycomb-configured diesel particulate filter (DPF) inlet channel accumulates both as a cake layer along the channel walls and as a “plug” towards the back of the channel. Experimental studies of DPF ash distribution have shown both an axial variation of deposits along channels and accumulation towards the end plugs. This study evaluates the sensitivity of DPF pressure drop on ash axial distribution and the potential to reduce flow restrictions by controlling and optimizing the spatial distribution of ash inside DPF channels. A computational model has been used in conjunction with experimental data to illustrate the sensitivity of ash spatial distribution on DPF performance. The classical constant-thickness DPF one-dimensional models have substantially been updated to include layer thickness axial variations. Material properties, such as ash characteristics, are provided by recent experiments at the authors' laboratory.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Innovations in Murine Motion Analysis and Life Support

The MIT-based Mars Gravity Biosatellite payload engineering team has been engaged in designing and prototyping sensor and control systems for deployment within the rodent housing zone of the satellite, including novel video processing and atmospheric management tools. The video module will be a fully autonomous real-time analysis system that takes raw video footage of the specimen mice as input and distills those parameters which are of primary physiological importance from a scientific research perspective. Such signals include activity level, average velocity and rearing behavior, all of which will serve as indicators of animal health and vestibular function within the artificial gravity environment. Unlike raw video, these parameters require minimal storage space and can be readily transmitted to earth over a radio link of very low bandwidth.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Sulfated Ash, Phosphorus and Sulfur on Diesel Aftertreatment Systems - A Review

This paper reviews the relevant literature on the effects of sulfated ash, phosphorus, and sulfur on DPF, LNT, and SCR catalysts. Exhaust backpressure increase due to DPF ash accumulation, as well as the rate at which ash is consumed from the sump, were the most studied lubricant-derived DPF effects. Based on several studies, a doubling of backpressure can be estimated to occur within 270,000 to 490,000 km when using a 1.0% sulfated ash oil. Postmortem DPF analysis and exhaust gas measurements revealed that approximately 35% to 65% less ash was lost from the sump than was expected based on bulk oil consumption estimates. Despite significant effects from lubricant sulfur and phosphorus, loss of LNT NOX reduction efficiency is dominated by fuel sulfur effects. Phosphorus has been determined to have a mild poisoning effect on SCR catalysts. The extent of the effect that lubricant phosphorus and sulfur have on DOCs remains unclear, however, it appears to be minor.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Mid-Channel Ash Plug on DPF Pressure Drop

It has been observed that a certain percentage of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) from the field form mid-channel ash plugs both in light duty and heavy duty applications. As revealed in a post mortem study, some field samples have ash plugs of 3-10 cm length in the middle of DPF inlet channels, which can potentially reduce the inlet channel volume by more than 50%. As a result, the mid-channel ash plug reduces the effective filtration area and decreases the effective channel open width in the middle of the channel. This explains why these filters are reported as having large increases in pressure drop. Moreover, the mid-channel ash deposits reduce the DPF service life and render the filter cleaning process ineffective. In the present study, an open source CFD tool is applied to study the 3D flow crossing two representative inlet and outlet DPF channels where the inlet channels have mid-channel ash plugs.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Crevices on the Engine-Out Hydrocarbon Emissions in SI Engines

To understand the effects of crevices on the engine-out hydrocarbon emissions, a series of engine experiments was carried out with different piston crevice volumes and with simulated head gasket crevices. The engine-out HC level was found to be modestly sensitive to the piston crevice size in both the warmed-up and the cold engines, but more sensitive to the crevice volume in the head gasket region. A substantial decrease in HC in the cold-to-warm-up engine transition was observed and is attributed mostly to the change in port oxidation.
Technical Paper

Sustainment Measures for Fighter Jet Engines

The US Air Force (USAF) has evolved a policy for the acquisition of fighter jet engines (FJE). In the 1970s and 1980s that policy placed a premium on FJE performance primarily measured by the metric: thrust/engine weight. In the 1990s, the USAF policy changed from an emphasis on performance to reduced life-cycle cost with a premium on sustainment. This paper reports the results of a study of how the USAF and Corporation Alpha (Alpha) have adapted their processes, practices, and policies to design, develop, manufacture, test, and sustain a family of FJEs. Each member of the family of FJEs is sequentially linked relative to insertion of technology designed to reduce sustainment costs. In addition to the technology linkages, the development of the family of FJEs selected for this case study is also tracked relative to US Department of Defense and USAF policy and industry design, build, and maintain processes, methods, and tools.
Journal Article

Study of On-Board Ammonia (NH3) Generation for SCR Operation

Mechanisms of NH₃ generation using LNT-like catalysts have been studied in a bench reactor over a wide range of temperatures, flow rates, reformer catalyst types and synthetic exhaust-gas compositions. The experiments showed that the on board production of sufficient quantities of ammonia on board for SCR operation appeared feasible, and the results identified the range of conditions for the efficient generation of ammonia. In addition, the effects of reformer catalysts using the water-gas-shift reaction as an in-situ source of the required hydrogen for the reactions are also illustrated. Computations of the NH₃ and NOx kinetics have also been carried out and are presented. Design and impregnation of the SCR catalyst in proximity to the ammonia source is the next logical step. A heated synthetic-exhaust gas flow bench was used for the experiments under carefully controlled simulated exhaust compositions.
Technical Paper

Space Life Support from the Cellular Perspective

Determining the fundamental role of gravity in vital biological systems in space is one of six science and research areas that provides the philosophical underpinning for why NASA exists. The study of cells, tissues, and microorganisms in a spaceflight environment holds the promise of answering multiple intriguing questions about how gravity affects living systems. To enable these studies, specimens must be maintained in an environment similar to that used in a laboratory. Cell culture studies under normal laboratory conditions involve maintaining a highly specialized environment with the necessary temperature, humidity control, nutrient, and gas exchange conditions. These same cell life support conditions must be provided by the International Space Station (ISS) Cell Culture Unit (CCU) in the unique environment of space. The CCU is a perfusion-based system that must function in microgravity, at unit gravity (1g) on earth, and from 0.1g up to 2g aboard the ISS centrifuge rotor.
Journal Article

Soot and Ash Deposition Characteristics at the Catalyst-Substrate Interface and Intra-Layer Interactions in Aged Diesel Particulate Filters Illustrated using Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Milling

The accumulation of soot and lubrication-derived ash particles in a diesel particulate filter (DPF) increases exhaust flow restriction and negatively impacts engine efficiency. Previous studies have described the macroscopic phenomenon and general effects of soot and ash accumulation on filter pressure drop. In order to enhance the fundamental understanding, this study utilized a novel apparatus that of a dual beam scanning electron microscope (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB), to investigate microscopic details of soot and ash accumulation in the DPF. Specifically, FIB provides a minimally invasive technique to analyze the interactions between the soot, ash, catalyst/washcoat, and DPF substrate with a high degree of measurement resolution. The FIB utilizes a gallium liquid metal ion source which produces Ga+ ions of sufficient momentum to directionally mill away material from the soot, ash, and substrate layers on a nm-μm scale.
Journal Article

Sensitivity Analysis of Ash Packing and Distribution in Diesel Particulate Filters to Transient Changes in Exhaust Conditions

Current CJ-4 lubricant specifications place chemical limits on diesel engine oil formulations to minimize the accumulation of lubricant-derived ash in diesel particulate filters (DPF). While lubricant additive chemistry plays a strong role in determining the amount and type of ash accumulated in the DPF, a number of additional factors play important roles as well. Relative to soot particles, whose residence time in the DPF is short-lived, ash particles remain in the filter for a significant fraction of the filter's useful life. While it is well-known that the properties (packing density, porosity, permeability) of soot deposits are primarily controlled by the local exhaust conditions at the time of particle deposition in the DPF, the cumulative operating history of the filter plays a much stronger role in controlling the properties and distribution of the accumulated ash.
Technical Paper

Scavenging the 2-Stroke Engine

THE indicated output of a 2-stroke engine is primarily dependent upon the success with which the products of combustion are driven from the cylinder and are replaced by fresh air or mixture during the scavenging period. Such replacement must, of course, be accomplished with a minimum of blower power. This paper deals with various aspects of 2-stroke research conducted at M.I.T. during the past 10 years. Among the subjects discussed are the methods used in the prediction and measurement of scavenging efficiency, and the effect of engine design and operating variables on the scavenging blower requirements as reflected by the scavenging ratio.
Technical Paper

Rotary Valve Revolution

Rotary valves should pose a credible threat to other mechanical valve systems-such as poppet valves-but they have been unable to infiltrate the automotive market. Using Axiomatic Design we have identified significant design problems with existing rotary valves which have prevented their wide-spread use. In addition, we have proposed an innovative solution which removes some couplings in existing rotary valve systems and could potentially be used in automotive applications, although further work must still be performed.
Journal Article

Reduction of Cold-Start Emissions through Valve Timing in a GDI Engine

This work examines the effect of valve timing during cold crank-start and cold fast-idle (1200 rpm, 2 bar NIMEP) on the emissions of hydrocarbons (HC) and particulate mass and number (PM/PN). Four different cam-phaser configurations are studied in detail: 1. Baseline stock valve timing. 2. Late intake opening/closing. 3. Early exhaust opening/closing. 4. Late intake phasing combined with early exhaust phasing. Delaying the intake valve opening improves the mixture formation process and results in more than 25% reduction of the HC and of the PM/PN emissions during cold crank-start. Early exhaust valve phasing results in a deterioration of the HC and PM/PN emissions performance during cold crank-start. Nevertheless, early exhaust valve phasing slightly improves the HC emissions and substantially reduces the particulate emissions at cold fast-idle.
Technical Paper

Predicting Product Manufacturing Costs from Design Attributes: A Complexity Theory Approach

This paper contains both theorems and correlations based on the idea that there is a uniform metric for measuring the complexity of mechanical parts. The metric proposed is the logarithm of dimension divided by tolerance. The theorems prove that, on the average, for a given manufacturing process, the time to fabricate is simply proportional to this metric. We show corrleations for manual turning (machine lathe process), manual milling (machine milling process), and the lay-up of composite stringers. In each case the accuracy of the time estimate is as good as that of traditional cost estimation methods, but the effort is much less. The coefficient for composite lay-up compares well to that obtained from basic physiological data (Fitts Law).