A Piezoelectric Sensor Concept for Measuring Piston Wetting in DISI Engines
A piezoelectric sensor to measure the mass of fuel that impacts the piston top during injection in a direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine was developed. The sensor used a 3.18 cm (1.25-inch) long, 0.318 cm (0.125-inch) wide piezo bending motor. The principle of operation is based on the change in natural vibration frequency that occurs to the cantilever piezo beam due to a change in its mass caused by the presence of liquid fuel on its surface. An electrical impulse is used to set the piezo element in vibration after which the natural vibrational frequency is measured using a FFT analyzer. The concept was evaluated outside the engine and calibrated for the frequency shift as a function of the weight of liquid on the bending element. The change in the frequency was found to be approximately proportional to the liquid mass on the sensor. The piston top of the engine was modified to accommodate the sensor on its surface.