1. INTRODUCTION The internal combustion engine (IC) is a heat engine that converts chemical energy in a fuel into mechanical energy, usually made available on a rotating output shaft. Chemical energy of the fuel is first converted to thermal energy by means of combustion or oxidation with air inside the engine. This thermal energy raises the temperature and pressure of the gases withinthe engine and the high-pressure gas then expands against the mechanical mechanisms of the engine. This expansion is converted by the mechanical linkages of the engine to a rotating crankshaft, which is the output of the engine. The crankshaft, in turn, is connected to a transmission and/or power train to transmit the rotating mechanical energy to the desired final use. For engines this willoften be the propulsion of a vehicle (i.e., automobile, truck, locomotive, marine vessel, or airplane). Other applications include stationary engines to drive generators or pumps, and portable engines for things like chain saws and lawn mowers.
Most internal combustion engines are reciprocating engines having pistons that reciprocate back and forth in cylinders internally within the engine. Othertypes of IC engines also exist in much fewer numbers, one important being the rotary engine. These engines will be given brief coverage. Engine types not covered in this course include steam engines and gas turbine engines.
Reciprocating engines can have one cylinder or many, up to 20 or more. The cylinders can be arranged in many different geometric configurations. Sizes range from small modelairplane engines with power output on the order of 100 watts to large multicylinder stationary engines that produce thousands of kilowatts per cylinder. There are so many different engine manufacturers, past, present, and future, those produces and have produced engines which differ in size, geometry, style, and operating characteristics that no absolute limit can be stated for any range of enginecharacteristics (i.e., size, number of cylinders, strokes in a cycle, etc.). Early development of modern internal combustion engines occurred in the latter half of the 1800s and coincided with the development of the automobile. History records earlier examples of crude internal combustion engines and self-propelled road vehicles dating back as far as the 1600s. Most of these early vehicles weresteam-driven prototypes which never became practical operating vehicles. Technology, roads, materials, and fuels were not yet developed enough. Very early examples of heat engines, including both internal combustion and external combustion, used gun powder and other solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Major development of the modern steam engine and, consequently, the railroad locomotive occurred inthe latter half of the 1700s and early 1800s. By the 1820s and 1830s, railroads were present in several countries around the world.
In addition to a great amount of experimentation and development in Europe and the United States during the middle and latter half of the 1800s, two other technological occurrences during this time stimulated the emergence of the internal combustion engine. In1859, the discovery of crude oil in Pennsylvania finally made available the development of reliable fuels which could be used in these newly developed engines. Up to this time, the lack of good, consistent fuels was a major drawback in engine development. Fuels like whale oil, coal gas, mineral oils, coal, and gun powder which were available before this time were less than ideal for engine use anddevelopment. It still took many years before products of the petroleum industry evolved from the first crude oil to gasoline, the automobile fuel of the 20th century. However, improved hydrocarbon products began to appear as early as the 1860s and gasoline, lubricating oils, and the internal combustion engine evolved together. The second technological invention that stimulated the development of...
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