Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Using less gas and oil to get where you’re going

08.10.2012
A quick pit-stop at the gas station is enough to put a good dent in your wallet. New technology is set to lower the high cost of filling up your car, by enabling combustion engines to consume two to three percent less gas and signifi cantly less oil, while eliminating a step in engine production.

An engine without oil will not survive for very long. Pistons need plenty of lubricant in order to be able to move within the cylindrical sleeves in the engine block. Two things are known to raise the resultant level of friction. The first is attributed to distortion of the cylindrical bore hole when the cylinder head is attached, which is known as static distortion. The second occurs when the engine is running and temperatures warp the bore hole.


The honing tool adjusts its shape to match the piston bore holes. © Fraunhofer IWU

The extent of this thermal distortion depends on prevailing engine temperatures and the specific engine model. In reality, the piston does not follow a perfectly smooth up and down motion, but instead touches at points within the bore hole. This results in the engine requiring a great deal more oil as well as more gas. Automakers are already able to compensate static distortion.

During the final machining stage, honing, technicians mount a honing liner to the engine which simulates the cylinder head that will later be mounted. Only then the work on the bore hole is completed. Thermal distortion, on the other hand, presents difficulties since it has not been possible to compensate for this effect until now.

Saving two to three percent of fuel

This problem has now been solved by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in collaboration with a car manufacturer and a machine tool producer. “Our technology makes it possible to compensate for both static and thermal distortion. This can lead to a fuel saving of two to three percent in combustion engines, and remove one step in their production,” says IWU head of department André Bucht.

This clever technology is based on a tool that can adapt its own shape. Researchers start by working out how an engine block is likely to become distorted: they determine the level of static distortion by unscrewing the cylinder head and measuring the extent to which the bore hole has been warped. They then simulate thermal distortion that occurs in each engine series, using an operating temperature of 90 degrees Celsius as their reference. The honing tool adjusts its shape based on these calculations, thereby altering the profile of the bore hole so that motions of the piston are perfectly smooth later on when the engine is running, preventing excessive friction.

Researchers have integrated small Piezo actuators into the tool which alter its shape and expand the diameter as required. “This is how we can incorporate any ‘imperfections’ in the otherwise perfectly round shape of the finished bore hole,” says Bucht.

A prototype of the tool already exists. The researchers have put it to use to prove that they can achieve the surface accuracy required without slowing down production – there being no more than 20 to 30 seconds for the assembly of each engine. Research is currently being performed on the test rig in collaboration with auto manufacturers. This is where an engine produced using the tool is put through its paces. Researchers are examining to what extent piston friction and fuel consumption are reduced, and how the lifespan of the engine might be affected in comparison with engines manufactured using conventional tools . The tests are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Researchers then plan to design the tool and the production process so that they can be adopted by manufacturers.

André Bucht | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/october/using-less-gas-and-oil-to-get-where-youre-going.html

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht Scientists from Hannover develop a novel lightweight production process
27.09.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH

nachricht PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses
15.05.2017 | JULABO GmbH

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>