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Technical Paper

Wear and Galvanic Corrosion Protection of Mg alloy via Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation Process for Mg Engine Application

Sliding wear of magnesium (Mg) engine cylinder bore surfaces and corrosion of Mg engine coolant channels are the two unsolved critical issues that automakers have to deal with in development of magnesium-intensive engines. In this paper, Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) process was used to produce oxide coatings on AJ62 Mg alloy to provide wear and corrosion protection. In order to optimize the PEO process, orthogonal experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of PEO process parameters on the wear properties of PEO coatings. The PEO coatings showed a much better wear resistance, as well as a smaller friction coefficient, than the AJ62 substrate. The galvanic corrosion property of AJ62 Mg coupled with stainless steel and aluminum (Al) was investigated via immersion corrosion test in an engine coolant. Applying PEO coating on Mg can effectively prevent the galvanic corrosion attack to Mg.
Journal Article

Transient Build-up and Effectiveness of Diesel Exhaust Gas Recirculation

Modern diesel engines employ a multitude of strategies for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emission abatement, with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) being one of the most effective technique. The need for a precise control on the intake charge dilution (as a result of EGR) is paramount since small fluctuations in the intake charge dilution at high EGR rates may cause larger than acceptable spikes in NOx/soot emissions or deterioration in the combustion efficiency, especially at low to mid-engine loads. The control problem becomes more pronounced during transient engine operation; currently the trend is to momentarily close the EGR valve during tip-in or tip-out events. Therefore, there is a need to understand the transient EGR behaviour and its impact on the intake charge development especially under unstable combustion regimes such as low temperature combustion.
Technical Paper

Thermal Efficiency Analyses of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion Cycles

Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles on a common-rail diesel engine with a conventional diesel fuel. Empirical studies have been conducted under independently controlled exhaust gas recirculation, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure. Up to 8 fuel injection pulses per cylinder per cycle have been applied to modulate the homogeneity history of the early injection diesel low temperature combustion operations in order to improve the phasing of the combustion process. The impact of heat release phasing, duration, shaping, and splitting on the thermal efficiency has been analyzed with zero-dimensional engine cycle simulations. This paper intends to identify the major parameters that affect diesel low temperature combustion engine thermal efficiency.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Intake Dilution and Combustion Phasing on the Combustion Stability of a Diesel Engine

Conventionally, the diesel fuel ignites spontaneously following the injection event. The combustion and injection often overlap with a very short ignition delay. Diesel engines therefore offer superior combustion stability characterized by the low cycle-to-cycle variations. However, the enforcement of the stringent emission regulations necessitates the implementation of innovative diesel combustion concepts such as the low temperature combustion (LTC) to achieve ultra-low engine-out pollutants. In stark contrast to the conventional diesel combustion, the enabling of LTC requires enhanced air fuel mixing and hence a longer ignition delay is desired. Such a decoupling of the combustion events from the fuel injection can potentially cause ignition discrepancy and ultimately lead to combustion cyclic variations.
Technical Paper

Surface Effect of a PEO Coating on Friction at Different Sliding Velocities

In order to reduce the weight of an automotive engine, an aluminum (Al) alloy engine block with cast iron liner has been successfully used to replace the gray cast iron engine. For newly emerging Al linerless engine in which the low surface hardness of the aluminum alloy has to be overcome, a few surface processing technologies are used to protect the surface of cylinders. Among them, plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) thermal spraying coating is becoming popular. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is also proposed for increasing the wear resistance of aluminum alloy and reducing the friction between the cylinder and piston. In this work, a PEO coating with a thickness of ∼20 μm was prepared, and a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to study the tribological behavior of the coating at oil lubricant conditions. Different surface roughness of the coating and a large range of the sliding speeds were employed for the tests.
Technical Paper

Suitability Study of n-Butanol for Enabling PCCI and HCCI and RCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

This work investigates the suitability of n-butanol for enabling PCCI, HCCI, and RCCI combustion modes to achieve clean and efficient combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Systematic engine tests are conducted at low and medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) and at a medium engine speed of 1500 rpm. Test results indicate that n-butanol is more suitable than diesel to enable PCCI and HCCI combustion with the same engine hardware. However, the combustion phasing control for n-butanol is demanding due to the high combustion sensitivity to variations in engine operating conditions where engine safety concerns (e.g. excessive pressure rise rates) potentially arise. While EGR is the primary measure to control the combustion phasing of n-butanol HCCI, the timing control of n-butanol direct injection in PCCI provides an additional leverage to properly phase the n-butanol combustion.
Technical Paper

Study of Low Temperature Combustion with Neat n-Butanol on a Common-rail Diesel Engine

This study investigates neat n-butanol, as a cleaner power source, to directly replace conventional diesel fuels for enabling low temperature combustion on a modern common-rail diesel engine. Engine tests are performed at medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) with the single-shot injection strategy for both n-butanol and diesel fuels. As indicated by the experimental results, the combustion of neat n-butanol offers comparable engine efficiency to that of diesel while producing substantially lower NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation. The greater resistance to auto-ignition allows n-butanol to undergo a prolonged ignition delay for air-fuel mixing; the high volatility helps to enhance the cylinder charge homogeneity; the fuel-borne oxygen contributes to smoke reduction and, as a result, the smoke emissions of n-butanol combustion are generally at a near-zero level under the tested engine operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Study of Heat Release Shaping via Dual-Chamber Piston Bowl Design to Improve Ethanol-Diesel Combustion Performance

In this work, an innovative piston bowl design that physically divides the combustion chamber into a central zone and a peripheral zone is employed to assist the control of the ethanol-diesel combustion process via heat release shaping. The spatial combustion zone partition divides the premixed ethanol-air mixture into two portions, and the combustion event (timing and extent) of each portion can be controlled by the temporal diesel injection scheduling. As a result, the heat release profile of ethanol-diesel dual-fuel combustion is properly shaped to avoid excessive pressure rise rates and thus to improve the engine performance. The investigation is carried out through theoretical simulation study and empirical engine tests. Parametric simulation is first performed to evaluate the effects of heat release shaping on combustion noise and engine efficiency and to provide boundary conditions for subsequent engine tests.
Technical Paper

Real-time Heat Release Analysis for Model-based Control of Diesel Combustion

A number of cylinder-pressure derived parameters including the crank angles of maximum pressure, maximum rate of pressure rise, and 50% heat released are considered as among the desired feedback for cycle-by-cycle adaptive control of diesel combustion. For real-time computation of these parameters, the heat release analyses based on the first law of thermodynamics are used. This paper intends to identify the operating regions where the simplified heat release approach provides sufficient accuracy for control applications and also highlights those regions where its use can lead to significant errors in the calculated parameters. The effects of the cylinder charge-to-wall heat transfer and the temperature dependence of the specific heat ratio on the model performance are reported. A new computationally efficient algorithm for estimating the crank angle of 50% heat released with adequate accuracy is proposed for computation in real-time.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Energy Efficiency Analyses of Diesel EGR Fuel Reforming with Flow Reversal and Central Fuelling

The diesel fuel reforming process in an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) loop of a diesel engine is capable of utilizing the engine exhaust energy to support the endothermic process of hydrogen gas generation. However, the EGR stream commonly needs to be heated to enable the operation of the reformer and thus to sustain higher yield of hydrogen. A central-fuelling and flow-reversal embedment that is energy-efficient to raise the central temperatures of the catalytic flow-bed is therefore devised and tested to drastically reduce the supplemental heating to the EGR reformer. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions. This research attempts to quantify the energy saving by the catalytic flow-reversal and central-fuelling embedment in comparison to a unidirectional flow EGR reformer.
Journal Article

Plasmonic in Metallic Nanostructures – Fabrication, Characterization and Applications in Surface-Enhanced Spectroscopy

We are witnessing a rapid and ongoing expansion of nanoscience, driven by potential applications in advanced materials and nanotechnology. There is a race to develop techniques that may allow controlling the size, shape of nanostructures that can allow the tuning of their optical and electronic properties. Plasmonics is a field that encompasses and profits from the optical enhancement in nanostructures that support plasmon excitations. One of these new techniques is surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), commonly used for nanostructure characterization. In the present report, we present a theoretical model for plasmon excitation and electric field enhancement that help to provide an explanation for the special features observed in experimental SERS. Two sets of experimental results are discussed illustrating the make out of the signature of the plasmonics producing the optical enhancement.
Technical Paper

Noise Cancellation Technique for Automotive Intake Noise Using A Manifold Bridging Technique

Due to considerable efforts of automobile manufacturers to attenuate various noise sources within the passenger compartment, other sources, including induction noise have become more noticeable. The present study investigates the feasibility of using a non-conventional noise cancellation technique to improve the acoustic performance of an automotive induction system by using acoustic energy derived from the exhaust manifold as the dynamic noise source to cancel intake noise. The validity of this technique was first investigated analytically using a computational engine simulation software program. Using these results, a physical model of the bridge was installed and tested on a motored engine. The realized attenuation of the intake noise was evaluated using conventional FFT analysis techniques as well as psychoacoustic metrics including loudness, sharpness, roughness and fluctuation strength.
Technical Paper

Neat Biodiesel Fuel Engine Tests and Preliminary Modelling

Engine performance and emission comparisons were made between the use of 100% soy, Canola and yellow grease derived biodiesel fuels and an ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel in the oxygen deficient regions, i.e. full or high load engine operations. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was extensively applied to initiate low temperature combustion. An intake throttling valve was implemented to increase the differential pressure between the intake and exhaust in order to increase and enhance the EGR. The intake temperature, pressure, and EGR levels were modulated to improve the engine fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions. Furthermore, a preliminary ignition delay correlation under the influence of EGR was developed. Preliminary low temperature combustion modelling of the biodiesel and diesel fuels was also conducted. The research intends to achieve simultaneous reductions of nitrogen oxides and soot emissions in modern production diesel engines when biodiesel is applied.
Technical Paper

Low Temperature Combustion Strategies for Compression Ignition Engines: Operability limits and Challenges

Low temperature combustion (LTC) strategies such as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), smokeless rich combustion, and reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) provide for cleaner combustion with ultra-low NOx and soot emissions from compression-ignition engines. However, these strategies vary significantly in their implementation requirements, combustion characteristics, operability limits as well as sensitivity to boundary conditions such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and intake temperature. In this work, a detailed analysis of the aforementioned LTC strategies has been carried out on a high-compression ratio, single-cylinder diesel engine. The effects of intake boost, EGR quantity/temperature, engine speed, injection scheduling and injection pressure on the operability limits have been empirically determined and correlated with the combustion stability and performance metrics.
Technical Paper

Load and Lubricating Oil Effects on Friction of a PEO Coating at Different Sliding Velocities

Friction between the piston and cylinder accounts for large amount of the friction losses in an internal combustion (IC) engine. Therefore, any effort to minimize such a friction will also result in higher efficiency, lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is considered as a hard ceramic coating which can provide a dimpled surface for oil retention to bear the wear and reduce the friction from sliding piston rings. In this work, a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to generate the boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. Five different lubricating oils and two different loads were applied to do the tribotests and the COFs of a PEO coating were studied. The results show that the PEO coating indeed had a lower COF in a lower viscosity lubricating oil, and a smaller load was beneficial to form the mixed and hydrodynamic lubricating regimes earlier.
Technical Paper

LiDAR and Camera-Based Convolutional Neural Network Detection for Autonomous Driving

Autonomous vehicles are currently a subject of great interest and there is heavy research on creating and improving algorithms for detecting objects in their vicinity. A ROS-based deep learning approach has been developed to detect objects using point cloud data. With encoded raw light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and camera data, several basic statistics such as elevation and density are generated. The system leverages a simple and fast convolutional neural network (CNN) solution for object identification and localization classification and generation of a bounding box to detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists was developed. The system is implemented on an Nvidia Jetson TX2 embedded computing platform, the classification and location of the objects are determined by the neural network. Coordinates and other properties of the object are published on to various ROS topics which are then serviced by visualization and data handling routines.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

Investigating Process Parameters and Microhardness Predictive Modeling Approaches for Single Bead 420 Stainless Steel Laser Cladding

Laser cladding is a novel process of surface coating, and researchers in both academia and industry are developing additive manufacturing solutions for large, metallic components. There are many interlinked process parameters associated with laser cladding, which may have an impact on the resultant microhardness profile throughout the bead zone. A set of single bead laser cladding experiments were done using a 4 kW fiber laser coupled with a 6-axis robotic arm for 420 martensitic stainless steel powder. A design of experiments approach was taken to explore a wide range of process parameter settings. The goal of this research is to determine whether robust predictive models for hardness can be developed, and if there are predictive trends that can be employed to optimize the process settings for a given set of process parameters and microhardness requirements.
Technical Paper

Influence of Biodiesel Fuel on Diesel Engine Performance and Emissions in Low Temperature Combustion

The exhaust emission and performance characteristics of a 100% biodiesel fuel was evaluated on a single cylinder direct injection diesel engine that had been modified to allow multi-pulse diesel fuel injection at the intake port and independent control of intake heating, exhaust gas recirculation and throttling. Firstly, conventional single-shot direct injection tests were conducted and comparisons made between the use of an ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel and the biodiesel fuel. Secondly, tests for the premixed combustion of neat biodiesel were performed. Exhaust gas recirculation was applied extensively to initiate the low temperature combustion for the conventional in-cylinder single injection operation and to moderate the timing of the homogeneous charge compression ignition for the intake-port sequential injection. Because of the high viscosity and low volatility of the biodiesel, pilot-ignited homogeneous charge compression ignition was used.