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Technical Paper

Investigation of Knock Damage Mechanisms on a GDI TC Engine

The recent search for extremely efficient spark-ignition engines has implied a great increase of in-cylinder pressure and temperature levels, and knocking combustion mode has become one of the most relevant limiting factors. This paper reports the main results of a specific project carried out as part of a wider research activity, aimed at modelling and real-time controlling knock-induced damage on aluminum forged pistons. The paper shows how the main damage mechanisms (erosion, plastic deformation, surface roughness, hardness reduction) have been identified and isolated, and how the corresponding symptoms may be measured and quantified. The second part of the work then concentrates on understanding how knocking combustion characteristics affect the level of induced damage, and which parameters are mainly responsible for piston failure.
Journal Article

Investigation on Pre-Ignition Combustion Events and Development of Diagnostic Solutions Based on Ion Current Signals

Pre-ignition combustions are extremely harmful and undesired, but the recent search for extremely efficient spark-ignition engines has implied a great increase of the in-cylinder pressure and temperature levels, forcing engine operation to conditions that may trigger this type of anomalous combustion much more frequently. For this reason, an accurate on-board diagnosis system is required to adopt protective measures, preventing engine damage. Ion current signal provides relevant information about the combustion process, and it results in a good compromise between cost, durability and information quality (signal to noise ratio levels). The GDI turbocharged engine used for this study was equipped with a production ion current sensing system, while in-cylinder pressure sensors were installed for research purposes, to better understand the pre-ignition phenomenon characteristics, and to support the development of an on-board diagnostic system solely based on ion current measurements.
Journal Article

Turbocharger Control-Oriented Modeling: Twin-Entry Turbine Issues and Possible Solutions

The paper presents possible solutions for developing fast and reliable turbocharger models, to be used mainly for control applications. This issue is of particular interest today for SI engines since, due to the search for consistent CO2 reduction, extreme downsizing concepts require highly boosted air charge solutions to compensate for power and torque de-rating. For engines presenting at least four in-line cylinders, twin-entry turbines offer the ability of maximizing the overall energy conversion efficiency, and therefore such solutions are actually widely adopted. This work presents a critical review of the most promising (and recent) modeling approaches for automotive turbochargers, highlighting the main open issues especially in the field of turbine models, and proposing possible improvements.