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Automotive systems

Assignment Report on

Effect of Piston Bowl Geometry on Turbulence inside

Combustion Chamber

Submitted by:
1. Shail Viradiya (141030011018)
2. Shreyansh Shukla (141030011020)
3. Ratnam Shah (141030011017)

Under the supervision of

Dr. Ajitkumar Parwani
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department
Global warming is the biggest threat faced by our mother earth in the present era. UN climate
change conference 2015 held at Paris was the most discussed and major step toward this
threat. A majority of the pollution across globe is caused by exhaust emissions from
automobiles. Hence a lot of research is going on for the development of various strategies,
methodologies that would bring down the emissions. Carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen
and soot are the main culprits responsible for deterioration of air quality.

Nowadays the European Commission and the Association des Constructeurs Europeens de
Motocycles (ACEM) have issued the decision to the motorcycle industry that would slowly
migrate cycles through the Euro 4 requirements in 2014 and up to Euro 5 in 2020. The
continuing demand of engines having low environmental impact and high efficiency requires
the necessity of fast combustion phase and reduced cyclic variability.

In IC engines, efficient burning of the fuel can be achieved by proper combustion process. To
obtain efficient combustion of the fuel injected in the cylinder of an IC engine with less
emissions, fuel must be spatially distributed within the cylinder.

To achieve spatial distribution, the fuel sprays must match with geometry of the combustion
chamber to effectively make use of gas flows. This can be contributed as a major factor why
different swirl and turbulent intensities are obtained for different combustion chamber
geometries. Here air is made to swirl for proper mixing with fuel which increases rate of
mixing. The higher the swirl reduces the soot emission at the cost of higher NOx level.

The in-cylinder fluid motion in Internal Combustion Engines is one of the most important
factors in controlling the combustion process. It governs the air-fuel mixing and rate of
burning in diesel engines. The fluid flow prior to combustion in Internal Combustion Engines
is generated during the induction process and developed during the compression stroke.

The influence of geometry has a negligible effect on the airflow during the intake stroke and
early part of the compression stroke. But when the piston moves towards Top Dead Centre
(TDC), the piston bowl geometry has a significant effect on air flow thereby resulting in
better combustion.
Turbulence in combustion chamber:

Due to high velocities involved, all flows into, out of and within cylinders are turbulent. The
exceptions to this are those flows in corners and small crevices of the combustion chamber
where close proximity of walls dampens out the turbulence.

As a result of turbulence, heat transfer, evaporation, mixing and combustion rate increases.
As the engine speed increases, flow rate increases with a corresponding increase in swirl,
squish and turbulence. This increases rate of fuel evaporation, mixing of fuel vapour and air,
and combustion.

Turbulence is high during intake and decreases as the flow rate slows near BDC. It increses
again during compression, as swirl, squish, and tumble increases near TDC. The high
turbulence near TDC when ignition occurs is very desirable for combustion. It breaks up and
spreads the flame front many times faster.

The air-fuel is consumed within a short time, and self-ignition and knock are avoided. The
shape of combustion chamber plays an important role in generating generating maximum
turbulence and increasing the desired rapid combustion.

1. Swirl:

The rotational motion of the fluid mass within the cylinder is called swirl. Swirl greatly
enhances mixing of air and fuel to give homogeneous mixture within a short time. It is also a
main mechanism for very rapid spreading of flame front during the combustion process.

Swirl can be generated by constructing intake system to give a tangential component to intake
flow as it enters the cylinder. This is done by shaping and contouring intake manifolds.

It is used to promote rapid combustion in SI engine, rapid mixing of fuel and air in gasoline
direct injection engines.
Swirl can be simply modelled as solid body rotation, i.e. cylinder of gas rotates at an angular
velocity, .

Swirl Ratio: It is a dimensionless parameter to quantify the rotational motion within cylinder,
and is defined in two ways in technical literature:

(SR)1 = (angular speed of gas / engine speed) = / N

(SR)2 = (swirl tangential speed / average piston speed) = ut / Up

The figure shows how the swirl ratio changes through a cycle of engine. During intake it is
high, decreasing after BDC in the compression stroke due to viscous drag with cylinder walls.

Many engines have wedge shape cylinder head cavity or a bowl in the piston where gas ends
up at TDC. During compression process as piston reaches TDC more of the air enters the
cavity and the air cylinder moment of inertia decreases and angular velocity increases.

2. Squish: Squish is the radial flow occurring at the end of compression stroke in which
compressed gases flow into the cavity in the piston or cylinder head.
3. Tumble: As the piston reaches TDC the squish motion generates a secondary flow called
tumble, where rotation occur about circumferential axis near outer edge of cavity or piston

4. Crevice Flow: Within the engine combustion chamber, there are tiny crevices which get
filled with air, fuel and exhaust gas during the cycle. These crevices include:

Clearance between piston and cylinder walls

Imperfect fit in the threads of spark plug or fuel injector
Gaps in the gasket between head and block
Un-rounded corners at the edges of combustion chamber and edges of valve faces
Although this crevice volume is of the order of 1-3 % of the total clearance volume, the flow
into and out of it greatly affect the engine performance.

In an SI engine, air fuel mixture is forced in to these crevices and some of the fuel ends up in
engine exhaust thereby lowering thermal efficiency.

As fuel is added towards end of the compression stroke in a CI engine, less fuel gets into
crevice volume.

Turbulence due to swirl:

Creating a swirling vortex in the cylinder has been recognized as a way of enhancing
turbulence levels during the compression stroke since the early days of IC Engines.

Swirl enhances turbulence during the compression stroke through the following methods:
Turbulence generated by the shear at the wall is transported throughout the bulk of the flow
by diffusion and swirl generated secondary flows or any protruding objects not on the axis of
rotation of the swirl vortex will create turbulence through shear and vortex shedding or a
swirl vortex in combination with the squish flow will cause an acceleration of the rotational
speed of the vortex as the piston approached TDC to conserve the angular momentum. This
will increase the turbulence late in the compression stroke.

Turbulence due to tumble:

The exact process as to how tumble enhances turbulence is not yet understood, however the
fundamental mechanism has been identified. During the intake stroke a tumble vortex is

This vortex is compressed during compression stroke and it increases its rate of rotation to
conserve angular momentum. With increase in compression, the vortex becomes more non-

The vortex reaches a critical point beyond which the vortex breaks down into smaller
vortices. These vortices decay into similar turbulent structures, thereby enhancing the
turbulent levels.