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Title:
A PISTON FOR AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/186786
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A piston (2) for an internal combustion engine, having a piston bowl comprising a central bottom portion (15) sloping downward from a central point located on a central axis and a side wall surrounding the central bottom portion. The side wall comprises an upper side wall portion (17), a concave lower side wall portion (18) defining a lowest level of the piston bowl, extending from the central bottom portion toward the upper side wall portion, and a knee (19) formed between the upper side wall portion and the concave lower side wall portion, projecting toward the central axis. As seen in a section taken in a vertical plane including the central axis, the piston bowl has a two dimensional profile comprising two profile portions located on opposite sides of the central axis. If the vertical plane is revolved around the central axis, each one of the profile portions is displaced in and out with respect to the central axis in dependence on an oscillating function, so that a distance from the central axis to the side wall varies with an angular displacement of the vertical plane around the central axis.

Inventors:
LEQUIEN, Guillaume (21 rue Duchatel, 78 220 Viroflay, 78 220, FR)
CHARTIER, Clément (Mosebacke 9, Gnesta, 646 31, SE)
Application Number:
SE2018/050328
Publication Date:
October 11, 2018
Filing Date:
March 27, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SCANIA CV AB (151 87 Södertälje, 151 87, SE)
International Classes:
F02F3/26; F02B23/06; F02F3/24; F02F3/28
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014094796A12014-06-26
WO2009058055A12009-05-07
WO2016150539A12016-09-29
Foreign References:
US20110253094A12011-10-20
US20090095251A12009-04-16
US5215052A1993-06-01
JP2007211644A2007-08-23
US20160265418A12016-09-15
JP2004190572A2004-07-08
DE202016106470U12016-11-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FORSELL, Hans (Scania CV AB, Patent Department, Södertälje, 151 87, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A piston (2) for an internal combustion engine (101), wherein the piston (2) has an upper end (11) and a lower end (12) between which a central axis (C) and a peripheral envelope surface (13) extend, wherein the upper end (11) comprises an annular top surface (14) defining a plane and a piston bowl (3) configured to form part of a combustion chamber (5), wherein the piston bowl (3) is recessed with respect to the annular top surface (14) and comprises a central bottom portion (15) sloping downward from a central point located on the central axis (C) and a side wall surrounding the central bottom portion (15), the side wall comprising:

- an upper side wall portion (17) sloping downward and radially inward from the annular top surface (14),

- a concave lower side wall portion (18) defining a lowest level of the piston bowl (3), extending from the central bottom portion (15) toward the upper side wall portion (17),

- a knee (19) formed in a transition between the upper side wall portion (17) and the concave lower side wall portion

(18), projecting toward the central axis (C),

wherein, as seen in a section taken in a vertical plane including the central axis (C), the piston bowl (3) has a two dimensional profile comprising two profile portions (20a, 20b) located on opposite sides of the central axis (C),

characterised in

that, if the vertical plane in which the section is taken is revolved around the central axis (C), each one of the profile portions (20a, 20b) is displaced in and out with respect to the central axis (C) in dependence on an oscillating function, so that a distance from the central axis (C) to the side wall varies with an angular displacement (Θ) of the vertical plane around the central axis (C).

2. The piston according to claim 1, wherein the oscillating function is a periodic function.

3. The piston according to claim 1, wherein the oscillating function is a trigonometric function. 4. The piston according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the oscillating function is such that at least eight ripples are formed in the side wall, preferably at least ten ripples.

5. An internal combustion engine (101) comprising at least one cylinder (1) with a piston (2) according to any one of the preceding claims.

6. The internal combustion engine according to claim 5, further comprising a fuel injector (6) configured to inject and direct fuel toward a number of target positions located on the side wall.

7. The internal combustion engine according to claim 6, wherein the target positions are angularly located on, below or above portions (23) of the knee (19) which are closest to the central axis (C).

8. The internal combustion engine according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the number of target positions is a multiple of a number of ripples formed in the side wall.

9. A motor vehicle (100) comprising an internal combustion engine (101) according to claim 7 or 8.

10. The motor vehicle according to claim 9, wherein the motor vehicle is a heavy motor vehicle such as a truck or a bus.

Description:
A piston for an internal combustion engine

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a piston for an internal combustion engine according to the preamble of claim 1 and to an internal combustion engine comprising at least one cylinder with such a piston. It also relates to a motor vehicle comprising an internal combustion engine.

While the piston is primarily discussed with respect to diesel engines, it is to be understood that the piston may be used in any kind of internal combustion engine using direct injection of fuel, i.e. injection of fuel into a combustion chamber where the fuel is ignited to provide piston movement.

BACKGROUND AND PRIOR ART Internal combustion engines such as diesel engines, also known as compression-ignition engines, and Otto engines, or spark- ignition engines, are commonly used in different types of motor vehicles, such as trucks and buses, cars, vessels, etc. Internal combustion engines are also used in many industrial applications.

Internal combustion engines, hereinafter also referred to as engines, may be driven by a plurality of different types of fuel, such as diesel, petrol, ethanol, gaseous fuel, and biofuel. The engines have a number of cylinders in which a reciprocating piston is provided. In an upper end of the piston, a piston bowl is provided. Together with an upper part of the cyli nder and a cyl inder head , the piston bowl forms a combustion chamber in which fuel is injected and combusted . The piston bowl is designed to contribute to mixing of air and fuel and to create a flow pattern infl uenci ng combustion and emission formation within the combustion chamber.

In a diesel engine, the fuel is normally injected as a fuel spray, or fuel jet, with a very high pressure subsequent to an i ntake stroke and a compression stroke of the piston . The fuel is ignited by the compression heat and combusted almost immediately fol lowing injection . Air and fuel must therefore be m ixed in a very short time, and it is desirable to ensure that the mixi ng is efficient and that the fuel becomes wel l-distributed within the combustion chamber so as to achieve a complete combustion . In this type of engi ne, the burning rate of the fuel is controlled by the entrai nment of the surrounding i n-cyli nder air into the fuel spray. Faster bu rning rates lead to higher efficiencies of the thermodynam ic cycle, which in turn can translate i nto more fuel efficient engi nes. Piston bowl desig ns which can i ncrease fuel-air mixing rates are therefore of particular interest.

Increasing ly stri ngent emission regulations, for diesel eng ines relati ng primarily to soot and n itrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, make it necessary to aim at further improving the em ission control of i nternal combustion engines. However, more efficient emission control often require more complex and energy demanding aftertreatment and combustion systems, wh ich particularly in the case of the aftertreatment system may contribute to an increased fuel consumption . For example, a swirl motion may be created to form turbulence in the combustion chamber and efficiently mix fuel with air. The swirl motion is a large scale whi rling motion around the axis of the cylinder, which is typically created during the intake stroke of the piston by e.g . helical intake ports. Together with a hig h fuel i njection pressure, the swirl motion may i mprove the combustion conditions and thereby reduces emission levels.

SE533053 discloses a piston havi ng a piston bowl with a central bottom portion sloping downward from a central poi nt located on the central axis and a side wall comprisi ng an ann ular upper side wall portion sloping downward and radially inward from an ann ular top surface, and an annular concave lower side wall portion defin ing a lowest level of the piston bowl , extending from the central bottom portion toward the upper side wall portion . In a transition between the concave lower side wal l portion and the upper side wall portion , a knee is formed which projects toward the central axis. The knee provides i mproved conditions for mixing of air and fuel and thereby improved combustion emissions. However, in order to further improve the combustion conditions and reduce em ission levels, there is a need to further enhance the conditions for mixing of fuel and air within the combustion chamber. SUMMARY OF TH E INVENTION

It is a primary objective of the present invention to provide a piston for an internal combustion engine which has a piston bowl configured to improve the efficiency of combustion and to reduce emission levels. A second objective is to provide an internal combustion engi ne in which emission levels can be reduced and the fuel efficiency can be i ncreased .

At least the first objective is achieved by means of the i nitial ly defined piston for an internal combustion engine, characterised i n that if the vertical plane in which the section is taken is revolved around the central axis, each one of the profile portions is displaced in and out with respect to the central axis in dependence on an oscillati ng function , so that a distance from the central axis to the side wall varies with an angu lar displacement of the vertical plane. In other words, ripples are formed i n the side wall of the piston bowl . The two profile portions, which may be mutually symmetric, th us have the same appearance regardless of where around the central axis the longitudinal section is taken , but are displaced with respect to the central axis depending on the angular displacement of the vertical plane. All parts of the side wal l , i .e. the upper side wal l portion, the knee and the concave lower side wall portion , are displaced with respect to the central axis as the vertical plane is revolved arou nd the central axis. The displacement of the profi le portions with respect to the central axis may be along a line perpendicular to the central axis, i .e. a radius of the piston bowl .

The piston accordi ng to the invention has the advantage that the level of turbulence close to the side wall of the piston bowl is locally i ncreased . A large scale swirl motion created on an intake stroke of the piston is broken down into smal ler tu rbulent eddies and local reci rculation vortices. As fuel is injected into the piston bowl in the form of fuel jets, the flow pattern created close to the side wall is therefore expected to enhance the turbulent fuel-air mixing at leading ends of the fuel jets, th us produci ng a more rapid burning rate which positively affects the efficiency of the thermodynamic cycle. Accordingly, a reduction of the engi ne fuel consumption can be expected.

The piston bowl design may further contribute to increasing the turbulent intensity during the last part of the combustion cycle, and thereby enhances late-cycle oxidation of fuel and intermediate combustion products. This is beneficial for i ncreasing the energy efficiency of the internal combustion engine i n which the piston is provided.

The piston according to the invention can be used i n existing internal combustion engines without heavy modifications. It is relatively easy to implement in existi ng engi ne designs and requires no additional hardware to function as desired .

According to one embodiment, the oscillating function is a periodic function . The piston bowl can thereby easily be adapted for a fuel injector with a nozzle designed to inject fuel into the combustion chamber with a symmetric fuel injection pattern , i .e. with orifices for injecting fuel being evenly distributed around the nozzle. By varyi ng the periodicity of the function , the piston can be tailored for a particular nu mber of fuel jets. The periodic function can be e.g . a trigonometric function or an epitrochoid, or a combination of functions. Preferably, the periodic function is a smooth function , so that a side wall without sharp corners is generated.

According to one embodi ment, the oscillating function is a trigonometric fu nction . The trigonometric function may e.g . be in the form of a sinusoid or a combination of sinusoids, but also other trigonometric functions are possible. A smooth trigonometric function, such as a sinusoid, generates a piston bowl without sharp corners, which may otherwise trap fuel and result in incomplete combustion.

According to one embodiment, the oscillating function is such that at least eight ripples are formed in the side wall, preferably at least ten ripples. A sufficient number of recesses in the side wall for creating local turbulence are thereby provided. The number of ripples may be independent of the fuel injection pattern, but it may also be correlated. The number of ripples formed in the side wall can be optimized taking for example the fuel injection pattern, the level of swirl and the compression ratio into account.

According to another aspect of the present invention, at least the second objective is achieved by means of an internal combustion engine comprising at least one cylinder with the proposed piston. Advantages of such an internal combustion engine appear from the above description of the piston. Of course, the internal combustion engine may comprise a plurality of cylinders having the proposed piston. The internal combustion engine may be adapted for use within a motor vehicle or within a stationary machine such as a pump or an electrical generator.

According to one embodiment, the internal combustion engine further comprises a fuel injector configured to inject and direct fuel toward a number of target positions located on the side wall. The fuel injector may e.g. have nozzle with a number of orifices for fuel injection . Preferably, the fuel injector may be positioned on the central axis.

Accordi ng to one embodiment, the target positions are ang ularly located on , below or above portions of the knee which are closest to the central axis. In th is way, fuel is directed toward portions of the side wall that protrude toward the central axis. As the fuel jets, or rather ign ited fuel jets i n the form of flames, i mpact on the target positions, the fuel jets/flames are split both axially by means of the knee, but also laterally. Instead of obtai ning a two di mensional splitting of fuel , a three di mensional splitting of fuel is achieved.

According to one embodi ment, the nu mber of target positions is a multiple of a nu mber of ripples formed i n the side wall . By correlating the nu mber of target positions with the number of ripples formed in the side wall , for example such that the n umber of ripples and the number of target positions coincide, the m ixing of fuel and air may i n some applications be optimized. However, it is not necessary that the n umber of ripples coincide with the number of target positions. A correlation between the nu mber of ripples and the n umber of target positions can be opti mized taking for example the fuel injection pattern , the level of swirl and the compression ratio into accou nt. The invention also relates to a motor vehicle comprising the proposed internal combustion engi ne. The motor vehicle may be a heavy motor vehicle such as a truck or a bus, but it may also be e.g . a passenger car or another motor vehicle. Further advantages as well as advantageous features of the present invention will appear from the following detailed description. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will in the following be described with reference to the appended drawings, in which: schematically shows an axial section of a cylinder of an internal combustion engine including a piston according to an embodiment,

schematically shows a motor vehicle according to an embodiment,

is a perspective view of the piston in fig. 1a, is an upper end view of the piston in fig.2, shows a curve describing the shape of the piston bowl according to an embodiment, and

schematically shows flow of fuel in a piston bowl according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION Fig. 1a shows a cylinder 1 of an internal combustion engine in the form of a diesel engine according to an embodiment of the invention. In the cylinder 1, a piston 2 configured to reciprocate within the cylinder along a common central axis C is provided. A piston bowl 3 is formed in the piston 2, which together with internal walls of the cylinder 1 and an internal surface of a cylinder head 4 creates a combustion chamber 5. A fuel injector 6 is positioned on the central axis C above the piston bowl 3. An intake port 7 is provided in the cylinder head 4 for supply of air into the combustion chamber 5 via an intake valve 8. Furthermore, an exhaust port 9 is provided in the cylinder head 4 for evacuation of exhaust gases via an exhaust valve 10.

A motor vehicle 100 according to an embodiment of the invention is schematically shown in fig.1b. The motor vehicle 100 comprises an internal combustion engine 101 forming part of a powertrain 102 which drives driving wheels 103, 104. A plurality of cylinders 1, of which only one is schematically shown, is provided in the combustion engine. Each cylinder 1 is provided with a piston bowl according to an embodiment of the invention. The motor vehicle 100 further comprises an exhaust treatment system 105.

The piston 2 according to the embodiment shown in fig. 1a is shown in closer detail in figs. 2-3. The piston 2 has the basic shape of a right circular cylinder with an upper end 11 and a lower end 12, between which a central axis C and a peripheral envelope surface 13 extend. The upper end 11 comprises an annular top surface 14 defining an upper plane. The piston bowl 3 is recessed with respect to the upper plane defined by the top surface 14. The piston bowl 3 comprises a central bottom portion 15 sloping downward from a central point located on the central axis C. The central bottom portion 15 is cone shaped with a rounded top 16, which top 16 is recessed with respect to the upper plane. The piston bowl 3 further comprises a side wall surrounding the central bottom portion 15. The side wall has a curved, slightly S-shaped upper side wall portion 1 7 that slopes downward and radially inward from the ann ular top surface 1 4. It fu rther has a concave lower side wall portion 1 8 defi ning a lowest level of the piston bowl . The lower side wall portion 1 8 extends from the central bottom portion 1 5 toward the upper side wall portion 1 7. Between the lower side wall portion 1 8 and the upper side wall portion 1 7, a knee 1 9 projecting toward the central axis C is formed. As seen in a section taken in a vertical plane incl uding the central axis C, such as shown in fig . 1 a, the piston bowl 3 has a two di mensional profile comprising two profile portions 20a, 20b located on opposite sides of the central axis C.

If the vertical plane in wh ich the section is taken is revolved around the central axis C of the piston 2, each of the profile portions 20a, 20b is displaced in and out with respect to the central axis C in dependence on an oscillating function . I n the shown embodi ment, the oscillating function is i n the form of a sinusoid, so that a distance from the central axis C to the side wall varies with an angular displacement Θ of the vertical plane around the central axis C. However, other periodic or non-periodic oscillating functions are possible to use instead of a sinusoid. It is also possible to use e.g . a combination of si nusoids or other trigonometric fu nctions. Fig . 4 shows a path that describes the appearance of a medial transverse section of the knee 1 9 of the piston bowl 3, wherein a radial distance p (solid li ne) from the central axis C to the knee 1 9 varies between r ± 0.5a, wherei n r (dashed line) is an average radial distance r from the central axis C to the knee 1 9 and a is the amplitude of the variation . I n the shown embodi ment, the radial d istance p can , as a function of the angular displacement Θ, be described as: ρ(θ) = r + a-cos [n-9+(a/r)-sin (η·θ+ξ)+ξ] (1) wherein 2ξ is the angular period of the variation and wherein n is the number of peaks. It should be noted that this function can be used to describe the distance from the central axis C to any point on the side wall as a function of angular displacement, i.e. not only to the knee 19 but also to the lower side wall portion 18 and to the upper side wall portion 17. The amplitude a can be determined in a global optimization of the combustion system under the range of operating conditions of the internal combustion engine. For example, a volume of the piston bowl 3, a fuel injection pattern, a level of swirl and a compression ratio can be taken into account. If one of the profile portions 20a, 20b discussed above is revolved around the central axis C, each point of the profile portion 20a, 20b will follow a path described by the equation (1). The side wall thereby has a wavy surface. This can also be described as ripples being formed in the side wall. In the embodiment shown in figs. 1- 3, a total of ten ripples are formed. If the path shown in fig. 4 is used to design a piston bowl, a total of twelve ripples will be formed in the side wall. Also the central bottom portion may be formed with a wavy surface, although in the shown embodiment the central bottom portion 15 is cone shaped without ripples formed in the surface.

The fuel injector 6 is configured for injecting fuel into the cylinder 1 as a fuel jet 25, so that the fuel is mixed with air compressed in the cylinder 1 to form a fuel/air mixture. The fuel/air mixture is after an ignition delay ignited by compression heat generated in the cyli nder 1 . The ig nited part of the fuel jet 25 forms a flame. The fuel can be injected with different i njection pressu res, from low to very high pressu res. The fuel injector 6 includes a plurality of small injection orifices (not shown) , formed i n the lower end of a nozzle assembly of the fuel i njector 6 for permitting the hig h pressure fuel to flow from a nozzle cavity of the fuel injector 6 i nto the combustion chamber 5 with high pressure to induce thoroug h mixing of the fuel with the hot compressed ai r within the combustion chamber 5. It should be u nderstood that the fuel injector 6 may be any type of fuel injector capable of injecti ng high pressure fuel through a pl urality of i njector orifices into the combustion chamber 5. Also, the fuel injector need not necessarily be positioned on the central axis C. The injection orifices of the fuel i njector 6 are arranged so that the fuel jets 25 are i njected toward target positions on , above or below the knee 1 9. The target positions are preferably also located on , below or above portions 23 of the knee 1 9 which are closest to the central axis C. It should be noted that the piston 2 is moving along the central axis C as the fuel jets 25 are injected, and therefore the exact target positions in the axial direction will vary. The target positions aimed for in the axial direction also depends on e.g . load and injection timing . As the ignited fuel jets 25, i .e. the flames, strikes the target positions, the flames are spl it on the knee 1 9 i nto an upper flow portion and a lower flow portion, but also on the portion 23 of the knee 1 9 so that mixi ng of fuel/air in the non-axial direction is enhanced.

Fig . 5 schematically shows the flow of fuel i n the combustion chamber 5 after injection of fuel i n an upper end view (top) and in a cross sectional view along the l ine D-D (bottom) . In the embodiment shown in fig . 5, a large scale swirl has been created during the intake stroke of the piston 2, as depicted by the arrow 21 . Upon injection of fuel in the form of a fuel jet 25 directed toward a target position , in this case located on a portion 24 of the knee 1 9 located furthest from the central axis C, the fuel jet 25 is split in the axial direction . At the same time, the rippled side wall interrupts the circulation of the swirl flow close to the side wall , creating i nstability in the local flow motion close to the side wall . Gradients are thereby created i n the tangential velocity of the swirl flow, leading to the creation of local vortices as depicted by the arrows 22.

The invention is of course not in any way restricted to the embodi ments described above. On the contrary, many possibi lities to modifications thereof wi ll be apparent to a person with ordinary skil l in the art without departing from the basic idea of the i nvention such as defi ned i n the appended claims.