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Proceedings of the 3

rd
BSME-ASME International Conference on Thermal Engineering
20-22 December, 2006, Dhaka, Bangladesh



INTAKE MANIFOLD OPTIMIZATION BY USING 3-D CFD ANALYSIS WITH
OBSERVING THE EFFECT OF LENGTH OF RUNNERS ON VOLUMETRIC
EFFICIENCY

Negin Maftouni , Reza Ebrahimi
K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
(rezaeb@yahoo.com)

ABSTRACT
It is quite wellknown that a properly designed Intake Manifold is vital for the optimal
performance of an IC engine. This paper will present 3-D Simulation of a XU7 Engine
Intake Manifold and the results will be discussed. Both steady and unsteady state
simulations have been accomplished for this case. Steady state simulation results are
compared with flow bench rig data for validation. Boundary condition for unsteady state
simulation was obtained from 1-D WAVE code. In the present research the effect of length
of runners on the volumetric efficiency has been analyzed by 3-D CFD model at different
speeds. Three hypothetical models have been made that all of their runners length is
increased to 110,120 and 130% of initial value. In the model with 20% extended runners, the
volumetric efficiency increases at 3500 and 4500 rpm. Finally according to the results of steady
and unsteady simulations, some suggestions are recommended to improve the performance of
this Intake Manifold.
Key words: Intake Manifold , Internal Combustion Engine , Unsteady state , Volumetric efficiency.

1. INTRODUCTION
It has long been known that an optimized design of the intake manifold is essential for the
optimal performance of an IC engine [1]. An intake manifold (IM) is usually made up a plenum, a
throttle body connected to the plenum, and runners which connect to the engine cylinders. Because
in XU7 engine, only air is the fluid in IM a designer has a wider choice for selecting the intake
manifold geometry than one has for TBI engines.
The main task of an IM is to distribute air between cylinder properly, identical distribution of air to
cylinders is vital for an optimized engine. An uneven air distribution leads to non-uniform cylinder
volumetric efficiency, power loss and increased fuel consumption.
One of the designs that help to achieve this goal is using an IM with symmetrical geometry.
The IM geometry has strong influence on the volumetric efficiency in IC engines [2]. During the
operation of an IC engine, pressure waves occur because of pressure drop in cylinders in intake
strokes. Depending on amplitude and phase of these pressure waves, filling of cylinders can be
affected positively or negatively. The amplitude and phase of these pressure waves depend on IM
geometry, engine speed and valve timing [3].
The design of an intake manifold can be accomplished in different ways. Due to advancement
of computers and CFD software, using 3-D simulation of the flow within intake manifold is
growing fast these days. With using this method we can predict, observe and analyze the flow
within an intake manifold and evaluate how the IM works under steady and unsteady situations. In
1996 the intake manifold of a 4 cylinder engine was simulated using this method in VW Company.
In this work the flow had been simulated in both steady and unsteady states and the results were
analyzed to improve the intake manifold performance [4]. In 2001 an intake manifold of a direct
injection diesel engine had been studied using 3-D simulation in GM Company to predict and
improve cylinder to cylinder EGR distribution [5].
In 2003 intake manifold of MPFI was simulated at one speed of engine [6]. In 2004 in Ford
Motor Company, a model approximation method was used to predict the detailed wave dynamic
characteristics and to determine the effects on the volumetric efficiencies [7]. Multi-dimensional
computational fluid dynamics simulations were carried out on the intake manifold and cylinder of
a four-stroke single cylinder two-wheeler engine in 2005 [8].
The overall goal of our work is to simulate the flow within the intake manifold in both steady
and unsteady states and analyze the results to evaluate and improve the ability of the IM to convey
air identically to all cylinders with the least possible pressure losses. Also the effect of engine
speed on the volumetric efficiency has been analyzed by 3-D CFD model at different engine
speeds.

2. INTAKE MANIFOLD DESIGN PARAMETERS
To achieve an optimal intake manifold, these parameters should be taken into consideration:
1- Uniform distribution of air to all cylinders.
2- Minimum possible resistance in IM runners.
3- Properly designs of IM geometry to utilize the pressure waves to improve induction process.
4- Eliminate the unnecessary turbulence and eddies in intake manifold.
5- Chose the throttle body position correctly (often symmetrical to the plenum).

3. 3-D CFD ANALYSIS OF INTAKE MANIFOLD
Traditional intake manifold optimization had been based on tests of IM. This trial and error
method can be effective but is very expensive and time consuming.
Beside this method can not provide any information about the actual flow structure inside the
intake manifold. This vital information can be obtained using 3D CFD analysis. The design
engineers can study the flow structure and understand whether a particular intake manifold
performs correctly or not. 3-D CFD simulation can be divided in two stages as below.
3.1. Steady state analysis
The pressure loss coefficients for individual runners can be determined with using steady state
simulation. This information can be obtained from a steady flow test (flow bench) too, but purpose
of this kind of simulation is to be ready for unsteady simulation of IM. The boundary conditions
(BC) in steady state simulation are constant pressure.
1


1
- In both steady and unsteady simulations the total pressure at the inlet and the static pressure at the outlets were
applied.
3.2. Unsteady state analysis
Steady state study can be fast and can provide the loss coefficients but this information can not
provide any information about an IM performance in the operating situation. Unsteady state
simulation can predict how an IM work under real conditions. The boundary conditions are not
longer constant but time variant. These boundary conditions are obtained from the 1-D gas dynamics
analysis by using the Wave code.

4. SIMULATION PROCEDURE
In this study the steady and unsteady simulations have followed these steps:
1- Creation of a 3-D model of IM. This job has been done with using Solidworks software (figure 1).
2- Mesh generation in Gambit software. Many kinds of mesh have been generated and finally after
grid independency investigation, a 100,000 cell mesh was selected for both steady and unsteady
simulations.
3- The information of mesh points is used as the input of CFD solver.
4- Calculation the boundary conditions for unsteady state simulation with using 1-D wave code
(constant boundary conditions are used for steady state simulation).
5- Using the CFD solver to obtain the flow field results.
6- Comparison between the results of the steady state simulation and with the steady-state (flow
bench) test rig data.
7- Analysis of the results and recommendation some suggestions to improve the performance of
the intake manifold.


1 2 3 4

Fig. 1. Runners of IM of XU7

5. SIMULATION RESULTS
5.1. Steady state simulation results
As it was mentioned before, constant boundary conditions are applied to steady state simulations.
The simulation has been done in 2 cases: the first case when the first runner is open and the second
case when the second runner is open. The pressure drops are compared with the experimental data
(figure 2). It is known from symmetric geometry of manifold that the pressure drop of first and
forth runners are equal and so about second and third runners (figure 1).
As it can be seen the pattern of both simulation and experimental curves are the same. Beside it
is apparent that pressure drop in runner 1 and 2 are closed to each other and this can demonstrate
the good design of this IM to distribute the uniform air to the cylinders.
0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0.035 0.04 0.045 0.05
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
1100
1200
Mass flow rate[kg/s]
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

d
r
o
p
[
P
a
]
SimRunner1
SimRunner2
ExpRunner1
ExpRunner2

Fig. 2. Comparison of experimental and simulation results

5.2. Unsteady state simulation results
The boundary condition inlet and outlet of intake manifold are shown in figure 3. The back flow
into the runners occurs at the beginning and the end of the intake stroke. The effect of speed
engine on the volumetric efficiency has been analyzed by 3-D CFD model. Unsteady state is
simulated at 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500 rpm. Volumetric efficiency of individual cylinders and
engine is listed in table1.
0.7
0.75
0.8
0.85
0.9
0.95
1
1.05
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Crank Angle
T
o
t
a
l

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
[
b
a
r
]
Runner 4
Runner 3
Runner 2
Runner 1
Inlet

Fig. 3. The curve of pressure distribution on inlet and outlets of manifold
Table 1. Volumetric efficiency of engine and individual cylinders for different speeds of engine

Engine 4
th
cyl. 3
rd
cyl. 2
nd
cyl. 1
st
cyl.
88.45% 87.5% 89.2% 89.1% 88% 2500 rpm
84% 83.9% 84.12% 84.11% 83.87% 3500 rpm
81.42% 81.55% 81.52% 81.47% 81.5% 4500 rpm
77.8% 77.8% 78.1% 78% 77.6% 5500 rpm

To judge how this IM distribute air to cylinders in a real situation, mass flow rates of air which
enter to cylinders through the runners has been calculated from the unsteady state simulation. To
compare the amount of air which is conveyed by the IM to cylinders, the mass flow diagram
(figures 4, 5) is integrated to gain the summation. Results show that the actual engine has its
maximum volumetric efficiency at 2500 rpm. The amount of this maximum is 88.45% (figure 6).
As it can be seen, this particular IM works to some extent well in uniform distribution of air to all
the cylinders and the maximum variation is 1.2%.

-0.02
-0.01
0
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.07
-200 0 200 400 600 800
Crank Angle[deg]
M
a
s
s

F
l
o
w

R
a
t
e
[
k
g
/
s
e
c
]
Cyl. 1
Cyl. 4
-0.03
-0.02
-0.01
0
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.07
-200 0 200 400 600 800
Crank Angle[deg]
M
a
s
s

F
l
o
w

R
a
t
e
[
k
g
/
s
e
c
]
Cyl. 2
Cyl. 3

Fig. 4. Mass flow rate of 1
st
and 4
th
runners Fig. 5. Mass flow rate of 2
nd
and 3
rd
runners

75
77
79
81
83
85
87
89
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000
Engi ne Speed
V
o
l
u
m
e
t
r
i
c

E
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
c
y

Fig. 6. Variation of volumetric efficiency with speed of engine

5.3. Effect of length of IM runners on the volumetric efficiency
Three hypothetical models have been made that all of their runners length is increased to
110,120 and 130% of initial value. No sensible change in volumetric efficiency is observed in the
cases with 10 and 30% increased length, at any speed of engine. But in the model with 20% extended
runners, the volumetric efficiency increases at 3500 and 4500 rpm (figure7). This phenomenon can
be explained by tuning. To achieve a favorable volumetric efficiency in a wide range of engine
speed, it is suggested to increase the length of IM runners to 120% of initial value.

78
80
82
84
86
88
90
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000
Engine Speed[rpm]
V
o
l
u
m
e
t
r
i
c

E
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
c
y
normal length
10%extended
20%extended
30%extended

Fig. 7. Variation of volumetric efficiency with speed of engine for different length of runners

6. CONCLUSION
This paper has presented a powerful method to evaluate an Intake manifold performance. The
procedures and the results of both steady and unsteady simulations have been explained.
According to these results some suggestion has been recommended to improve the performance of
this intake manifold. To achieve a favorable volumetric efficiency in a wide range of engine speed, it
is suggested to increase the length of IM runners to 120% of initial value. Finally it should be
noted that according on the experience of this work, 3-D simulation can be used as a strong and
useful tool for design or optimization of intake manifolds.

7. REFERENCES
[1] Heywood, J . B., Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals, McGraw-Hill Book Company,
1987.
[2] Winterbone, D. E., Pearson, R. J ., Design Techniques for Engine Manifolds, Professional
Engineering Publishing 1999.
[3] Engelman, H. W., The Tuned Manifold: supercharging without a blower, ASME paper 53-
DGP-4, 1953.
[4] Bensler, H. P., CFD Optimization of Power train Components, SAE paper 96-4022, 1996.
[5] Siewert, R. M., Krieger, R. B., Huebler M. S. Modifying an Intake Manifold to Improve
Cylinder-to-Cylinder EGR Distribution in a DI Diesel Engine using Combined CFD and
Engine Experiments, SAE paper 2001-01-3685, 2001.
[6] Safari, M., Nasiritosi, A., Ghamari, M. Intake Manifold Optimization by Using 3-D CFD
Analysis, SAE paper 2003-32-0073, 2003.
[7] Lee, S.B., Kim, Y.W., Yang, W.C., Intake Manifold Wave Dynamic Analysis and Its Effects
on Volumetric Efficiency, ASME paper IMECE2004-60312 California, Anaheim, 2004.
[8] Anand, T. N. C., Ravikrishna, R. V. Multi-Dimensional, Transient Fluid Flow Simulation in the
Intake Manifold of a Four-Stroke Single-Cylinder Engine, ASME paper ICEF2005-1273
Ottawa, 2005.