Fundamentals of the Four Stroke Internal Combustion Engine

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Fundamentals of the Four Stroke Internal Combustion Engine Many people claimed the invention of the internal combustion engine in the 1860's, but only one has the patent on the four stroke operating sequence. In 1867, Nikolaus August Otto, a German engineer, developed the four stroke "Otto" cycle, which is widely used in transportation even today. Otto developed the four-stroke internal combustion engine when he was 34 years old. The Diesel Engine came about in 1892 by another German engineer, Rudolph Diesel. The Diesel engine is designed heavier and more powerful than gasoline engines and utilizes oil as fuel. Diesel engines are a commonly used in heavy machinery, locomotives, ships, and some automobiles. It is important to mention that the basic operating principles of these engines have been around for more than a hundred years and they are still in place. Some people get discouraged when they look under the hood and cannot recognize a thing on their automobile. Rest assured that underneath all of those wires and sensors lies an engine with the same basic operating principles of that "Otto" engine over a century old. Before explaining the different strokes, I would like to explain the basic parts of the Internal Combustion Engine. The Intake Valve opens at a precise time to allow the air/fuel mixture to enter the cylinder. The Exhaust Valve opens at a precise time to allow the burned gases to leave the cylinder, The Spark Plug ignites the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, which creates an explosion. The force of the explosion is transferred to the Piston. The piston travels up and down in a Reciprocation Motion. The force from the piston is then transferred to the Crankshaft through the Piston Rod (connecting rod). The piston rod converts the reciprocating motion of the piston, to the Rotating Motion of the crankshaft. Now that the basic parts are identified, lets go through the four strokes of the internal combustion engine, which are Intake, Compression, Power, and Exhaust. On the intake stroke, the intake valve has opened. The piston is moving down, and a mixture of air and vaporized fuel is being pushed by atmospheric pressure into the cylinder through the intake valve port. After the piston reaches the lower limit of its travel, it begins to move upward. As this happens, the intake valve closes.

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