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Technical Paper

A Model for Converting SI Engine Flame Arrival Signals into Flame Contours

A model which converts flame arrival times at a head gasket ionization probe, used in a spark-ignition engine, into flame contours has been developed. The head gasket was manufactured at MIT using printed circuit board techniques. It has eight electrodes symmetrically spaced around the circumference (top of cylinder liner) and it replaces the conventional head gasket. The model is based on engine flame propagation rate data taken from the literature. Data from optical studies of S.I. engine combustion or studies utilizing optical fiber or ionization probe diagnostics were analyzed in terms of the apparent flame speed and the entrainment speed (flame speed relative to the fluid ahead of the flame). This gives a scaling relationship between the flame speed and the mass fraction burned which is generic and independent of the chamber shape.
Technical Paper

An Overview of Hydrocarbon Emissions Mechanisms in Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper provides an overview of spark-ignition engine unburned hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms, and then uses this framework to relate measured engine-out hydrocarbon emission levels to the processes within the engine from which they result. Typically, spark-ignition engine-out HC levels are 1.5 to 2 percent of the gasoline fuel flow into the engine; about half this amount is unburned fuel and half is partially reacted fuel components. The different mechanisms by which hydrocarbons in the gasoline escape burning during the normal engine combustion process are described and approximately quantified. The in-cylinder oxidation of these HC during the expansion and exhaust processes, the fraction which exit the cylinder, and the fraction oxidized in the exhaust port and manifold are also estimated.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Fuel Behavior in the Spark-Ignition Engine Start-Up Process

An analysis method for characterizing fuel behavior during spark-ignition engine starting has been developed and applied to several sets of start-up data. The data sets were acquired from modern production vehicles during room temperature engine start-up. Two different engines, two control schemes, and two engine temperatures (cold and hot) were investigated. A cycle-by-cycle mass balance for the fuel was used to compare the amount of fuel injected with the amount burned or exhausted as unburned hydrocarbons. The difference was measured as “fuel unaccounted for”. The calculation for the amount of fuel burned used an energy release analysis of the cylinder pressure data. The results include an overview of starting behavior and a fuel accounting for each data set Overall, starting occurred quickly with combustion quality, manifold pressure, and engine speed beginning to stabilize by the seventh cycle, on average.
Technical Paper

Effects of Valve-Shrouding and Squish on Combustion in a Spark-ignition Engine

The effects of two commonly used methods for altering the combustion process in a spark-ignition engine are examined using pressure measurements and high-speed schlieren photography. A square cross-section visualization engine with two quartz sidewalls was used to allow optical access over the entire four-stroke operating cycle. Engine operation with a shrouded intake valve, which changed the intake-generated flow, and with a stepped piston, which changed the compression-generated flow, are compared to a base condition. In addition, cyclic variations in burning are examined for all cases.
Technical Paper

Flame Shape Determination Using an Optical-Fiber Spark Plug and a Head-Gasket Ionization Probe

A method for determining the flame contour based on the flame arrival time at the fiber optic (FO) spark plug and at the head gasket ionization probe (IP) locations has been developed. The experimental data were generated in a single-cylinder Ricardo Hydra spark-ignition engine. The head gasket IP, constructed from a double-sided copper-clad circuit board, detects the flame arrival time at eight equally spaced locations at the top of the cylinder liner. Three other IP's were also installed in the cylinder head to provide additional intermediate data on flame location and arrival time. The FO spark plug consists of a standard spark plug with eight symmetrically spaced optical fibers located in the ground casing of the plug. The cylinder pressure was recorded simultaneously with the eleven IP signals and the eight optical signals using a high-speed PC-based data acquisition system.
Technical Paper

Flow in the Piston-Cylinder-Ring Crevices of a Spark-Ignition Engine: Effect on Hydrocarbon Emissions, Efficiency and Power

The flow into and out of the piston top-land crevice of a spark-ignition engine has been studied, using a square-cross-section single-cylinder engine with two parallel quartz glass walls which permit optical access to the entire cylinder volume. Schlieren short-time exposure photographs and high speed movies were used to define the essential features of this flow. The top-land crevice and the regions behind and between the rings consist of volumes connected through the ring gaps. A system model of volumes and orifices was therefore developed and used to predict the flow into and out of the crevice regions between the piston, piston rings and cylinder wall.
Technical Paper

Mixture Preparation in a SI Engine with Port Fuel Injection During Starting and Warm-Up

The in-cylinder hydrocarbon (HC) mole fraction was measured on a cycle-resolved basis during simulated starting and warm-up of a port-injected single-cylinder SI research engine on a dynamometer. The measurements were made with a fast-response flame ionization detector with a heated sample line. The primary parameters that influence how rapidly a combustible mixture builds up in the cylinder are the inlet pressure and the amount of fuel injected; engine speed and fuel injection schedule have smaller effects. When a significant amount of liquid fuel is present at the intake port in the starting process, the first substantial firing cycle is often preceded by a cycle with abnormally high in-cylinder HC and low compression pressure. An energy balance analysis suggests that a large amount of liquid vaporization occurs within the cylinder in this cycle.
Technical Paper

Schlieren Visualization of the Flow and Density Fields in the Cylinder of a Spark-Ignition Engine

The design and operating characteristics of a single-cylinder transparent spark-ignition engine for Schlieren flow visualization are described. The engine is built on a CFR engine crankcase using the CFR piston and cylinder as a crosshead for the square cross-section piston and cylinder assembly. The square cross-section assembly has two parallel steel walls and two parallel quartz glass walls to permit optical access to the entire cylinder volume over the complete engine operating cycle. The CFR head and valve mechanism completes the assembly. It is shown that the engine operates satisfactorily with propane fuel under typical engine operating conditions. Schlieren short time-exposure photographs and high speed movies were taken to define details of the flow and density fields through the engine cycle. Photographs which illustrate key features of these fields are presented and described.