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Development Cylinder Head

Cylinder Head Concepts for

High Peak Firing Pressures
In future, peak combustion pressure and thermal loading of the components will further
increase. In addition to the crank case and the crank train components, particularly ­the
design of the cylinder head is affected by this development. In this connection, an important
question is how a cylinder head should be designed to meet the higher demands. Therefore,
FEV Motorentechnik performed an internal R & D project where various kinds of concepts
have been designed and compared with each other.

46 MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69

1 Introduction pressure will be more important with The Authors
larger cylinder bore diam­eters.
The development of modern diesel – Increased bolt forces of the cylinder
­engines is characterized by combined head bolts, which have to ensure suf­ Dipl.-Ing.
­increases in specific power and torque, ficient compression of the cylinder Thomas Hamm
Figure 1. In passenger car applications, head gasket when applying higher is department man­
engines with specific values of 75 kW/l peak firing pressures. ager diesel engine of
and more than 200 Nm/l are already in – Increased thermal stress and deforma­ engine design at FEV
series production, and engines with high­ tions as a result of higher temperature Motorentechnik GmbH
er specific values are under development. gradients inside the head. The tem­ in Aachen (Germany).
Naturally, all other engine characteris­ perature gradient will be higher, be­
tics have to be improved simultaneously cause the local temperatures at the
as well. Because of the great importance combustion chamber side are increas­ Dipl.-Ing. Hermann
in public discussion today, the reduction ing more than at the cooled side due Josef Ecker
of fuel consumption and the connected to the higher heat flow. is projectmanager of
CO2 emission have to be considered. But To continue to achieve a functional, engine design at FEV
all other characteristics such as low emis­ high-quality, robust, production-orient­ Motorentechnik GmbH
sions, costs, reliability, NHV behavior, or ed, and economical solution even under and managing director
comfort are also very important for the the tightened boundary conditions, ap­ of FEV Polska (Poland).
success of advanced engines. propriate design measures are required
One of the development work meas­ to compensate for the higher loads that
ures is to increase the peak combustion ­are required: Dr.-Ing.
pressure and thermal loading of the – In principle, increasing the overall Martin Rebbert
component. In addition to the crank case structural stiffness by additional walls is department man­
and the crank train components, particu­ or ribs or an optimization of their lo­ ager dynamic of en­
larly the design of the cylinder head is cation or dimension gine mechanic at FEV
affected by this development. – fundamental increase of the material Motorentechnik GmbH
In this connection, an important ques­ stiffness in Aachen (Germany).
tion is how a cylinder head should be de­ – utilization of material with a higher
signed to meet the higher demands. To Young‘s modulus
answer this question, FEV Motorentech­ – achieving a homogeneous distribu­ Dipl.-Ing.
nik performed an internal R & D project tion of the stiffness and avoiding high Marc Grafen
where various kinds of concepts have gradients is projectengineer of
been designed and compared with each – optimization of all fillet radii thermotechnology at
other. The objective was to identify cylin­ – stiffening of hollow areas with struc­ FEV Motorentechnik
der head architectures that best meet the tures that can carry forces without GmbH in Aachen
specified requirements under the more having a negative impact on cooling (Germany).
stringent boundary conditions. – utilization of structures that reduce
The concept comparisons were sup­ the bending of the flame deck under
ported by intensive FEM structural analy­ gas pressure
sis. In particular, the designer is search­
ing for a procedure to find good design
solutions at a very early stage of the de­
sign process when the CAD models are Figure 1: Develop-
not yet finalized in each and every detail. ment of specific
Such an early solution helps minimize performances and
effort and costs. peak pressures of
passenger car die-
sel engines
2 Design Concepts

The increasing peak pressure and ther­

mal loading lead to higher mechanical
loads of modern cylinder heads, Figure 2.
These loads include the following:
– Increased operating forces as a product
of projected combustion chamber area
and peak firing pressure. The higher

MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69 47

Development Cylinder Head

which the aluminum is substituted lo­

cally in only these critical areas by iron
The result is a hybrid design, in which
the bottom part of the head including
the water jacket that is directly exposed
to high pressure and high heat will be
made from gray cast iron (GJL) or com­
pacted graphite iron (GJV). To limit the
weight increase, the upper part of the
head will still be made from aluminum
(No. 10 in Figure 3).
An alternative concept, utilizing alu­
minum and other materials such as GJV
Figure 2: Cylinder head loads due to increased peak pressures and heat (CGI) is created when an insert that stiff­
ens the structure is directly cast in the
surrounding aluminum. This approach,
however, is only helpful, if the materials
– the need for the structure to expand To increase the component strength, used have a similar expansion rate. If
should not be restricted to avoid ex­ the first option is to change the material, not, internal stresses are created during
cessive strains i.e. to use a material with a higher cooling of the casting, which means that
– realization of good cooling by an ap­ Young‘s modulus. The first choice with such a concept will not be feasible (No. 8
propriate form of the water jacket. At regard to mass production capability and 9 in Figure 3).
the same time, a sufficient coolant would be the utilization of the grey cast The most successful-looking concept
flow and velocity must be ensured, in iron (GJL), which is most frequently used for passenger car diesel engines is the
particular at hot spots. today, or, for even higher strength re­ stiffening by additional structures made
– utilization of material with higher quirements, compacted graphite iron from aluminum. Examples for this are
thermal conductivity. (GJV). Compared to an aluminum design, an intermediate deck, Figure 4 and No. 2
The incorporation of the listed measures the utilization of cast iron would initial­ in Figure 3, which divides the water
into the head design cannot be realized ly have the advantage for the design engi­ jacket horizontally, local ribbing (No. 3
without any compromises, since the dif­ neer to decrease the wall thickness at in Figure 3), one rib in longitudinal en­
ferent cylinder head design elements many locations inside the head due to gine direction (No. 5 in Figure 3), or the
such as gas exchange channels, injector, the higher Young‘s modulus, even con­ reinforcement of the flame deck (No. 4
glow plug, water jackets, valves, valve sidering the higher mechanical compo­ in Figure 3). These solutions can be im­
trains, camshafts, oil ducts, and seals nent loads (No. 7 in Figure 3). plemented without any serious weight
have to be accommodated in a limited Since the higher strength of cast iron penalty compared to the base format,
installation space. Simultaneously, the is only needed in a few areas in the cylin­ and they therefore avoid the biggest
requirements regarding low weight and der head, other solutions can be used in drawback of all of the iron variants.
all casting or production-related bounda­
ry conditions have to be met. Figure 3 de­
picts concepts analyzed at FEV where
the described design measures have
been implemented.
In accordance with Figure 3, the con­
cepts that have been devised can be subdi­
vided based on the materials that were
used into the categories aluminum alloys,
iron alloys, and aluminum/iron hybrids.
Since the focus of the design studies has
been on future, high-speed direct injec­
tion diesel engines for passenger car appli­
cations, an aluminum cylinder head con­
cept with 4 valves per cylinder and a sin­
gle-core water jacket can be regarded as
the concept that is currently being manu­
factured most often in series production
and thus as the appropriate starting point
(No. 1 in the overview in Figure 3). Figure 3: Cylinder head concepts for high PFP

48 MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69

equipment in an existing series produc­ nent stresses are determined as mean
tion environment. and amplitude values at each location on
the structure in the most critical section.
Finally, the durability analysis is applied
3 Concept Evaluation by Simulation using all significant influence factors.
The final result is the distribution of
As for other structural components, the safety factors on the structure.
evaluation of the cylinder head design is To compare the different cylinder
Figure 4: Intermediate deck done by numerical simulation based on head concepts shown in previous Sec­
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as well as tion 2 with respect to their cylinder
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). peak pressure resistance, which is the
These technologies allow to predict the subject of this article, the evaluation of
Naturally, cooling must be ensured in properties of components as early as in a normalized component stiffness is
each case. Ribbing in the area of the wa­ the development stage prior to the first used to begin with. This ensures that a
ter jacket is therefore fitted with suitable prototype and evaluate possibly required comparison between the concepts them­
openings. A strongly reinforced flame design changes accordingly. selves is made and the influence of local
deck is cooled down through additional A complete cylinder head analysis pri­ details is not overestimated. High struc­
coolant bores. marily consists of: tural stiffness definitely means a good
Compared to the baseline cylinder – Cylinder head CFD analysis of the gas base for the later detailed design work
head, all investigated variants need more exchange process achieving high durability, sealing func­
effort in at least one or several fabrication – CFD analysis of the coolant fluid tionality, and good NHV behavior.
steps. Measures reinforcing the structure – nonlinear FEA of the structural me­
through additional ribbing, reducing de­ chanics for stress and durability pre­ 3.1 Assessment of
formation, or increasing specific coolant diction either due to cylinder pressure Component Temperature
flow, typically increase the complexity of load (high cycle fatigue, HCF) and due Under stationary conditions, the heat
the core package and the casting process to thermal distortion (low cycle fa­ transferred into the cylinder head is be­
of the component (intermediate deck, tigue, LCF) ing dissipated again by the cooling sys­
longitudinal ribs or transversal ribs), or – linear FEA structural dynamics to tem, which means that the heat flow
machining (coolant flow drilling in the evaluate structure-borne noise levels. between gas and component equal the
flame deck). The complexity will increase To fully evaluate fully detailed cylinder heat flow between component and cool­
even more through the implementation heads regarding peak cylinder pressure ing medium. Assuming constant heat
of concepts that utilize inserts made resistance, HCF safety is definitely the transfer conditions, the temperature dif­
from higher-strength materials (hybrid right parameter. The influence of the dif­ ference between coolant temperature
concepts). The entire component process ferent temperature levels and distribu­ and component temperature is increased
from preparing the casting model and tions and their relevant impact on the with increasing heat flow from the com­
machining to the disposal of the compo­ material properties need to be consid­ bustion chamber to the cylinder head
nent at the end of the life cycle, during ered for this type of analysis. The HCF material. Since more heat is brought in­
which the two materials must be sepa­ safety factors are typically calculated us­ to the component with larger specific
rated again using a reliable process, must ing FEA. After completion of the FEA engine power, the component tempera­
be geared towards the combination of dif­ computation considering the entire load ture is directly coupled to the specific
ferent base materials. It can also be ex­ profile, the three-dimensional compo­ engine power, assuming that the cool­
pected that component-specific casting
process development will be necessary.
Finally, a monoblock concept (No. 6 in
Figure 3) is also an interesting variant for
engines with high peak firing pressures.
The monoblock may be more easily real­
ized today with the now available mod­
ern fabrication processes. In addition to
some technical advantages, such as the
deletion of the cylinder head gasket and
bolting as well as the favorable design of
the coolant jacket, there are still the well-
known disadvantages of such a complex
component. Inherent in the design are
for example the slightly smaller valve
seat ring diameters or the required adap­ Figure 5: Calculated temperature distribution in the flame deck (aluminum baseline for
tation of the machining and assembly different specific engine power)

MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69 49

Development Cylinder Head

ing liquid will have almost constant tem­ limit of the two considered materials. due to higher temperature gradients and
perature. The following investigations The answers differ considerably depend­ in particular the higher sensitivity re­
are applied for two different heat flow ing on the source of literature. However, garding specific engine power, the alu­
magnitudes such that the evaluation of it is certain that two things need to be minum variants appear to be at least
the concepts also pays attention against avoided: Modifications of the material‘s equally suited for the demands for the
the backdrop of increasing specific en­ inner physical structure by thermal next engine generations.
gine power. Figure 5 shows the exact tem­ overload and decrease of structural
perature distribution at the bottom strength below the level of locally occur­ 3.2 Evaluation of Component Stiffness
plate of the aluminum baseline design ring stresses. While the stresses are defi­ Figure 8 shows the calculated component
for a specific engine power of 60 kW/l nitely depending on the entire mechan­ stiffness for the different variants. While
and 80 kW/l. The principal temperature ical load spectrum, they may be more the different aluminum variants show
distribution is similar. However, the vari­ critical for the CGI design due to the advantages with regard to stiffness com­
ant with 80 kW/l shows an overall higher larger temperature gradients. On the pared to the baseline design, the CGI
temperature level as expected. other hand, the CGI design has a larger variant shows no improvement in this
As expected, the overall temperature margin regarding the thermal destruc­ area, but has an about 6 % lower stiff­
level for the aluminum variants is al­ tion of the material in the example ness. The reason for this is that, due to
most constant. We will take a closer look shown here: material-specific design, the aluminum
at the absolute maximum temperatures In general, a maximum temperature variant shows a considerably higher ge­
later on. Figure 6 shows the same evalua­ of 400 °C for iron material melting at ometrical stiffness. As a result, the ma­
tion for the CGI variant with intermedi­ about 1500 °C should be less critical terial-dependent Young‘s modulus in­
ate deck. than a maximum temperature of fluence on the stiffness is overcompen­
The overall temperature level is, as ex­ 250 °C for the aluminum material sated. This effect is also reflected in the
pected, significantly larger for the CGI melting at 660 °C. component masses: The mass increase
variant due to the lower thermal conduc­ However, considering the higher ther­ of the CGI intermediate deck design
tivity of the material. The qualitative tem­ mo mechanical load on the CGI variant compared to the aluminum baseline is
perature distribution is also quite differ­
ent for the two variants. While the tem­
perature level for the aluminum variant
is almost constant on a high level
throughout large areas of the flame deck,
the CGI variant shows local „hot-spots“
between the valve openings, such that
the temperature gradient are consider­
ably higher for this variant. What is also
interesting is that the temperature with
increasing specific engine power increas­
es not only absolutely, but also relatively.
Starting from 60 kW/l for both de­
signs, the aluminum structure shows
15 % higher maximum temperatures, Figure 6: Calculated temperature distribution in the flame deck of the CGI design with
whereas the CGI variant has a tempera­ intermediate deck for different specific engine power
ture increase of 22 % in the hottest spots
of the flame deck.
Figure 7 shows the comparison of the
peak temperatures for all investigated
variants, relative to their baseline vari­
ant at 60 kW/l. The influence of the geo­
metric design itself on the peak tempera­
ture is around 5 %, as the change of ma­
terials to CGI leads to a temperature in­
crease of about 60 %. Increasing the spe­
cific engine power has the same results
for all aluminum variants (increase of
peak temperatures by 15 %), while the
CGI design reacts significantly more sen­
sitive as discussed above.
Those results consequently raise the Figure 7: Calculated maximum temperatures in the flame deck for different specific
question of the absolute temperature engine power

50 MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69

aluminum intermediate deck solution
as well as with the CGI intermediate
deck design.
While the minimum safety factors for
both aluminum designs are found in the
same region, the CGI design shows the
weakest points in a different area. With
respect to the generic differences in the
material concepts, this is not surprising
and confirms that an estimation of the
component stiffness may only be under­
stood as a first step to obtain a rough
idea of the safety factors, especially if
concepts based on completely different
Figure 8: Comparison of structural stiffness of different concepts materials are investigated. The final re­
sult confirms this as well. As expected,
the minimum safety factors are in the
same range, but the minimum safety fac­
only 80 %, although the material densi­ With almost 30 % increase in stiff­ tor for the CGI intermediate deck solu­
ty is more than twice as high. As expect­ ness, the aluminum design with CGI in­ tion of 1.7 shows a significantly larger
ed, a pure material substitution of the sert shows the greatest stiffness. How­ safety margin for the investigated load
base line variant to CGI would lead, as ever, a safety evaluation of the stiffness spectrum than the baseline aluminum
shown in column six, to an increase in and the elasticity module as described solution with a safety factor of 1.3. The
stiffness by slightly more than 100 %, above is not possible for this kind of aluminum intermediate deck design
which reflects the ratio of the materi­ ­hybrid material solution. roughly matches the expectations from
al‘s Young‘s moduli. However, this con­ Using the previously described esti­ the estimation in Section 3.2, ending up
sideration is merely theoretical, since mation method, both aluminum vari­ with an improvement of the minimum
the resulting design would make no ants “intermediate deck” and „longitu­ safety factor of 1.4.
practical sense regarding functionality dinal rib” show a significant potential All three concepts are thus rated du­
and casting feasibility. regarding the increase of HCF safety as rable, while the GCI intermediate deck
The design of the CGI variant with in­ their stiffness is increased by approxi­ shows the largest potential regarding
termediate deck has thinner walls, such mately 10 %. peak firing pressure increase, provided
that the stiffness is comparable to the that the specific engine power and there­
baseline variant. Very much simplified, 3.3 Evaluation of Safety Factors fore also the heat flow rate will be ap­
the component stresses may therefore be The variants designed in detailed are fi­ proximately the same. With a significant
proportional to the Young‘s moduli, con­ nally evaluated using a complete HCF increase in engine power, the aluminum
sidering that stresses would equal the safety analysis. Figure 9 shows the com­ intermediate deck variant would be first
Young‘s modulus times deformation parison of the safety factors of the alu­ choice with regard to peak firing pres­
σ=ε⋅E. Following this estimation, the CGI minum baseline design both with the sure compatibility.
stresses would be about factor two higher
than the expected stresses of the baseline
aluminum variant.
Considering the fatigue strength un­
der alternating bending of both materi­
als for the temperatures in the usually
most critical areas as calculated in Sec­
tion 3, their ratio (CGI temperature di­
vided by aluminum temperature) is also
about 2.
This estimation leads to the conclu­
sion that the component safety factors
may roughly be in the same range. How­
ever, this kind of estimation is very gen­
eral and neglects a number of influenc­
ing factors such that it cannot substitute
a detailed HCF analysis of the completely
designed and structurally optimized
component. Figure 9: Comparison of HCF safety factors for detailed variants

MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69 51

Development Cylinder Head

Table: Evaluation matrix specific engine power than iron materi­

als. The potential of conventional alumin­
um concepts regarding peak pressure

Design / Fabrication
suitability lies in the region of 200 bar.
Variant Summarized Accessment The described intermediate deck and

other structural measures allow an addi­


tional increase.

Regarding the peak firing pressure in­

Base Concept o o o o o o function limited regarding high PFP crease, CGI offers a high potential. Com­
improved function with only
pared to aluminum, the potential to in­
Intermediate Deck + + o o - o crease the specific power is lower. Be­
moderate issues
cause of the high weight, iron cylinder
function limited regarding
GJV Concept ++ o -- + o -- heads will not play an important role in
high specific power
passenger car applications.
Theoretically, hybrid structures, which
combine the strong points of both mate­
rials, could represent a suitable solution
4 Evaluation Despite their high stiffness, con­ in the future. However, it is questionable
cepts with GJx inserts are not recom­ whether these kinds of concepts can be
The Table depicts a summarized assess­ mended, because disadvantages regard­ realized, as many fabrication problems
ment of the described concepts. The alu­ ing costs and casting process can not have not yet been solved.
minum cylinder head with the interme­ be avoided.
diate deck demonstrates the best com­
promise among all characteristics. Com­ References
pared to the basic concept, the stiffness 5 Conclusion [1] Heiduk, T.; Wagner, T.; Ecker, H.-J.: Der Vier­ventil-
and the HCF safety are increased as well. DI-Zylinderkopf – Herausforderung für die Struktur­
This concept offers good conditions to The increasing peak firing pressures of auslegung. In MTZ 59 (1998)
realize higher peak firing pressures and diesel engines and the resulting chal­ [2] Gomes, E.; Ecker, H.-J.; Schnellhase, T.: Konstruk­
tion und Entwicklung des Ford DIATA Motors.
specific outputs. The disadvantages or a lenges for the design of cylinder heads
7. Aachener Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik 1998,
more complex casting can be controlled can‘t be discussed apart from the increas­ Aachen/Deutschland
with only relatively minor extra costs. ing specific power and the associated [3] Trampert, S.; Maassen, F.: Zylinderköpfe für hohen
Higher HCF safety factors can also be thermal loads. Spitzendruck und Literleistung. DI Tagung: Ventil­
achieved with GCI variants. However, the Considering all influencing factors, trieb und Zylinderkopf, VDI Fellbach/Stuttgart/
disadvantage with regard to weight and aluminum cylinder heads incorporating Deutschland, 2004
[4] Göcmez, T.; Trampert, S.: Gusseisen für Zylinder­
the limited suitability for very high spe­ an intermediate deck as a structural
köpfe in Nutzfahrzeugmotoren – Modellierung,
cific outputs make these kind of con­ measure are a recommendable solution. Fehleranalyse und Zusammenhänge. Konferenz
cepts less recommendable for the use in In general, aluminum alloys show a Materialmodellierung, NAFEMS, Wiesbaden/
passenger cars. higher potential regarding increased Deutschland, 2006

52 MTZ 06I2008 Volume 69


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