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Ms. A. Sushma Email:sushma_annavarapu@yahoo.co.in

Mr. M. Sunil Email: sunil_kelvin@yahoo.com

Pre-Final Mechanical Engineering, Bapatla Engineering College. Address to Communicate:

A. Sushma D/o A.V. Prasad; D.No: 15-7-3; Besthapalem;


M. Sunil; Door No 5-39; Mahatmajipuram; Opp Bapatla Engineering College;










finds its place

in the market

with latest

design modifications



















However, one component

has remained

unchanged in the internal combustion engine development i.e., the camshaft, has been the primary means of controlling the valve actuation and timing, and therefore, influencing the overall performance of the vehicle. Camless technology is capturing the future of

internal combustion engines. It has been known to man that if valves could be controlled independently in an Internal Combustion Engine then there would be benefits like increased power, reduced emissions and increased fuel economy. In the camless technology valve motion is operated by valve actuators of electro- mechanical and electro-hydraulic type. In this paper we compare camless valve operation with conventional valve operation and we deal with the valve actuating mechanisms of camless engine by considering the electromechanical and electrohydraulic actuators as the important types of actuating valves in camless engines.




Electromechanical hydraulic actuators.




Cams, lifters,

all these things

have up until now been associated with the internal combustion engine. But the end is near or these lovely shiny metal

objects that comprise the valve train hardware in your pride and joy. Camless engine technology is soon to be a reality for mass-produced vehicles. In the camless valvetrain, the valve motion is controlled directly by a valve actuator - there's no camshaft or connecting mechanisms. Various studies have shown that a camless valve train can eliminate many otherwise necessary engine design trade-offs.Automotive engines equipped with camless valvetrains of the electro- hydraulic and electro-mechanical type have been studied for over twenty years, but production vehicles with such engines are still not available.

The issues that have had to be addressed in the actuator design include:

reliable valve performance



power consumption

noise and vibration

Noise has been identified as the main problem with the electromechanical actuator technology, arising from high contact velocities of the actuator's moving parts. For this noise to be reduced, a so- called soft-landing of the valves has to be achieved. In a conventional valvetrain, the

The valvetrain in a typical internal combustion engine comprises several moving components. Some are rotating and some are moving in a linear manner. Included are poppet valves that are operated by rocker arms or tappets, with valve springs used to return the valves to their seats. In such a system the parasitic power losses are major - power is wasted in accelerating and decelerating the components of the valvetrain. Friction of the camshaft, springs, cam belts, etc also robs us of precious power and worsens fuel economy, not to mention contributing to wear and tear. The power draw on the crankshaft to operate the conventional valve train is 5 to 10 percent of total power output. Another factor working against the conventional valve train is that of the cam

∑ cost ∑ packaging ∑ power consumption ∑ noise and vibration Noise has been identified as

soft-landing is mechanically embedded into the shape of the camshaft lobe.

Conventional Valvetrain

profile. Usually , it is fixed to deliver only one specific cam timing. The cam lobes have to be shaped such that when the valve travels up and down at the engines maximum speed it should still be able to slow down and gently contact the valve seat. The valves crashing down on their valve seats results in an engine that is real noisy and has a short life expectancy. Having different cam profiles will result in different engine characteristics. While high-rpm power and low rpm- torque can be each optimised, a compromise is required to obtain the best of both in the same engine. With Variable Valve Timing (VVT) technologies the compromise is getting better and better - reasonable low down torque and high- speed power are being produced by many sub 2-litre engines.

But the problem remains that the

cam grind is still a fixed quantity - or two fixed quantities in the case of Honda V- TEC engines. That's why the Electromechanical Valve Train is considered the next evolution of VVT. With the potential to dial in any conceivable valve timing at any point of the combustion cycle for each individual cylinder, valves can be opened with more lift and/or duration , as the computer deems necessary.

Camless Valvetrain Operation

The types of camless variable valve actuating systems being developed can be classed in two groups: electrohydraulic and electromechanical. When it comes to electromechanical valve trains, there are several designs that are being trialed. Most developers are using the conventional poppet valve system (ie valves that look the same as in today's engines) but an alternative is a ball valve set up. Both use electromagnets in one way or another to open and close the valve. Originally created for the Apollo space program, the electrohydraulic valve actuator works by sending pressurised hydraulic fluid to the engine valve to move it open or closed. These systems are mainly retain poppet valves and are preferred by truck engine


1. Electromechanical Poppet Valves

This type of system uses an armature attached to the valve stem.The outside casing contains a magnetic coil of some sort that can be used to either attract or




hence opening or

closing the valve.









But the problem remains that the cam grind is still a fixed quantity - or two

attraction/repulsion actuating principals using an iron or ferromagnetic armature. These types of armatures limited the performance of the actuator because they resulted in a variable air gap. As the air gap becomes larger (ie when the distance between the moving and stationary magnets or electromagnets increases), there is a reduction in the force. To maintain high forces on the armature as

the size of the air gap increases, a higher current is employed in the coils of such devices. This increased current leads to higher energy losses in the system, not to mention non-linear behaviour that makes it difficult to obtain adequate performance. The result of this is that most such designs have high seating velocities (ie the valves slam open and shut hard!) and the system cannot vary the amount of valve lift. The electromechanical valve actuators of the latest poppet valve design eliminate the iron or ferromagnetic armature. Instead it is replaced with a current-carrying armature coil. A magnetic field is generated by a magnetic field generator and is directed across the fixed air gap. An armature having a current-carrying armature coil is exposed to the magnetic field in the air gap. When a current is passed through the armature coil and that current is perpendicular to the magnetic field, a force is exerted on the armature.When a current runs through the armature coil in either direction and perpendicular to the magnetic field, an electromagnetic vector force, known as a Lorentz force, is exerted on the armature coil. The force generated on the armature coil drives the armature coil linearly in the air gap in a direction parallel with the

valve stem. Depending on the direction of the current supplied to the armature coil, the valve will be driven toward an open or closed position. These latest electromechanical valve actuators develop higher and better-controlled forces than those designs mentioned previously. These forces are constant along the distance of travel of the armature because the size of the air gap does not change.

Referring now to Figures 1 to 4, an

the size of the air gap increases, a higher current is employed in the coils of

electromechanical valve actuator of the







conjunction with an intake



valve (22). The valve (22) includes a valve closure member 28 having a cylindrical valve stem (30) and a cylindrical valve head (32) attached to the end of the stem (30). The valve actuator (20) of the poppet valve system generally

includes a housing assembly (34) consisting of upper and lower tubular housing members (36) and (42), a magnetic field generator consisting of upper and lower field coils (48) and (52), a core (56) consisting of upper and lower core member (58) and (68), and an armature (78) suitably connected to the valve stem (30). The armature coil is preferably made from aluminium wire or other electrically conductive lightweight material, which is highly conductive for its mass. Minimising the armature mass is especially important in view of the rapid acceleration forces placed on it in both directions. The ability of the electromechanical valve actuator to generate force in either direction and to vary the amount of force applied to the armature in either direction is an important advantage of this design. For instance, varying the value of the current through the armature coil and/or changing the intensity of the magnetic field can control the speed of opening and closing of the valve. This method can also be used to slow the valve closure member to reduce the seating velocity, thereby lessening wear as well as reducing the resulting noise.

This system is able to operate

without valve springs as shown in Figure


includes a housing assembly (34) consisting of upper and lower tubular housing members (36) and (42),

or can equally be equipped with them as shown in Figures 6 & 7

2. Electromechanical Ball Valves

An alternative to the conventional poppet valve for use in camless valve trains is a ball valve. This type of electromechanical valve system consists of a ball through which a passage passes. If the ball is rotated such that the passage lines up with other openings in the valve assembly, gas can pass through it. (Exactly like the ball valves many of us use to control our boost.) Opening and closing the valve is accomplished by electromagnets positioned around its exterior.

Referring to Fig, the valve housing (7) is shown in two pieces. Ball valve (8) has two rigidly attached pivots (12). The

disc (10) is permanently attached and indexed to the ball valve and contains permanent magnets around its perimeter. The electromagnets (11) are situated on both sides of the ball valve (8) and they are fixed to the valve housing. The electromagnets are controlled through the ECU. A crank trigger sensor on the crankshaft provides information about the position of the pistons relative to top dead centre. Thus, at top dead centre of the power stroke, the ECM could be used to fix the polarity of both electromagnets so that they are of opposite polarity to the magnets in the ball valve, rotating the ball valve to the closed position. The substitution of a simple, efficient ball valve and valve housing arrangement in a a four stroke reciprocation piston engine eliminates all the independent moving parts in the valve train. This may even be an improvement over the poppet valve camless system -

the ball valve needs only to rotate on its axis to achieve the desired flow conditions, rather than be accelerated up

and down in a linear fashion. A partially open ball valve state may also be able to be used to create more turbulence. Electromechanical valve train implementation would not be possible with a normal 12V electrical system, the automotive industry has chosen a 42V electrical system as the next automotive standard.

Electrohydraulic Poppet Valves

In general terms, present designs of electrohydraulic valves comprise poppet valves moveable between a first and second position. Used is a source of pressurised hydraulic fluid and a hydraulic actuator coupled to the poppet valve. The motion between a first and second position is responsive to the flow of the pressurised hydraulic fluid. An electrically operated hydraulic valve controls the flow of the pressurised hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator. In one design, the provision is made for a three-way electrically operated valve to control the flow of the pressurised hydraulic fluid to the actuator. This supplies pressure when electrically pulsed open, and dumps actuator oil to the engine oil sump when the valve is electrically pulsed to close.

The use of engine oil as the hydraulic fluid simplifies and lowers the cost of the design by removing the need for a separate hydraulic system.

Electrohydraulic Poppet Valves






electrohydraulic valvetrain hardware


illustrated in

Fig. The engine poppet

valves (22) and the valve springs (24) that

are used to

reset them are shown. The





by hydraulic

The use of engine oil as the hydraulic fluid simplifies and lowers the cost of the

actuators (26), which are controlled by electrically operated electro-hydraulic valves (28) supplying hydraulic fluid to the actuators via conduit (29). The preferred hydraulic fluid is engine oil, supplied to the electro-hydraulic valves by the pressure rail (30). An engine-driven hydraulic pump (32) supplies the oil pressure, receiving the oil from the engine

oil sump (34). The pump output pressure is also limited by an unloader valve (36), as controlled by an accumulator (38) connected to the oil pressure rail. With this design the hydraulic pump could be periodically disconnected, such as under braking, so that the valve train would run off the stored accumulator hydraulic pressure. As is the trend with all modern engine systems, the camless engine has an even greater reliance on sensors. The valve actuation and control system typically needs a manifold pressure sensor, a manifold temperature sensor, a mass flow sensor, a coolant temperature sensor, a throttle position sensor, an exhaust gas sensor, a high resolution engine position encoder, a valve/ignition timing decoder controller, injection driver electronics, valve coil driver electronics, ignition coil driver electronics, air idle speed control driver electronics and power down control electronics. A valve developed by Sturman Industries is said to be about six times faster than conventional hydraulic valves. To achieve such speeds, it uses a tiny spool sandwiched between two electrical coils. By passing current back and forth between the coils, a microprocessor- based controller can quickly move the

spool back and forth, thereby actuating the engine valves in accordance.

Benefits of Camless Engines

The benefits of camless valve actuator systems are numerous. The most obvious







More torque is made available through

out the rev-range due to the valve timing


enabling optimal volumetric

efficiency. This increases engine performance and decreases fuel



decreasing harmful


increasing durability and

engine life, and allowing compensation



types of fuel and varying

altitudes. Cylinder deactivation (ie an eight cylinder can become a six as needed!) is also possible, with the associated






consumption reductions could be

obtained by combining camless valve

technology with




fuel injection





engine oil required would also be

dramatically reduced because no










traditional complex system. Cold start

wear would also be










a general consensus that





increase overall valvetrain efficiency by eliminating the frictional losses of the camshaft mechanism, the weight of the mechanism and the cam mechanism's drain of power from the crankshaft.

Valve speed comparision between mechanical cam shaft and camless engine actuation The improvement in the speed of operation valve actuation and control system can be readily appreciated with reference to Fig ..

spool back and forth, thereby actuating the engine valves in accordance. Benefits of Camless Engines The

It shows a comparison between valve speeds of a mechanical camshaft engine and the camless engine valve

actuation. The length of the valve stroke in inches versus degrees of rotation of a mechanical camshaft is illustrated. When graphed, the cycle of opening and closing of a valve driven by a mechanical camshaft will display a shape similar to a sine curve. The opening period (as measured in crankshaft degrees) remains constant for any engine








opening and closing of valves driven by

engine operation difficult to achieve

the electromechanical valve actuators operates much faster. Designed to match

during low load, and more precisely, during idle conditions.

valve-opening rates at the maximum



valve actuators

engine rpm, the electromechanical valve actuators open the valve at this same rate regardless of engine operating conditions.

permits reprogramming to allow the engine to operate in reverse . This can be done by simply inverting one input

Because of this improved speed, greater flexibility in programming valve events is

wire pair. Reverse operation is advantageous in marine equipment having

possible, allowing for improved low-end torque, lower emissions and improved

dual outdrives or T-drives. This feature would also eliminate the need for reverse

fuel economy. The massive opening







period for the electromechanically driven

gears would be used to operate in either

valve can also be seen!






Controlling the intake valve event






can also eliminate the need for throttled operation in petrol engines, thereby reducing pumping losses and improving fuel economy - the throttle butterfly

without the added hardware. However, the future is not necessarily as rosy as the above states. There are many problems to be overcome with the

becomes redundant. In the un-throttled

electronically controlled

valves. The

camless engine, the intake valves' opening

problems lie not only in the software

duration is used for cylinder airflow regulation, rather than a throttle or air- bypass valve. A simplification of the induction system results and a more

required but also the mechanisms of the actuators. Coil transient response times and saturation effects at high rpm are just some of the issues.

compact engine design is thus possible.



This leads to valve specific intake trumpets with less restriction to give the best breathing capabilities. Although, it needs to be said that there are reported problems with respect to idle control of a throttleless design, with stable unthrottled

The main difference between camless engine and conventional engine arose when we deal with the valve actuating methods in both of these engines. In conventional engines the valves are actuated by using camshafts, lobes and

gears. But in camless internal combustion engines all these are eliminated by using actuators like electro-hydraulic or electro- mechanical type by which we can overcome the problems with conventional i.c.engines. The benefits like reduced emission, increased power, increased fuel economy can be obtained by applying camless technology to internal combustion engines. From all these we can conclude that by applying camless technology to internal combustion engines the overall performance of the vehicle will enhance.


  • 1. Fundamentals of I.C.Engines by J.B.Heywood.

  • 2. Kim D, Anderson M. A dynamic model of electrohydraulic camless valve train system SAE article.

  • 3. Schechter MM, Levin MB Camless engine. SAE article.

  • 4. Article in autospeed on camless engines.

  • 5. A Website www.autospeed.com, article on camless engines.