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Ignition Timing Progress ON THE Petrol Engine Engineering Essay

Ignition Timing: as applied to the spark ignition motors (petrol engines) is an activity of setting enough time at which the spark plug should flames in the combustion chamber during the compression with respect to the piston position and the crankshaft angular speed. The spark plug should flames before TDC and the flame should terminate after TDC.

Setting the correct ignition timing is very critical as it decides the time designed for combustion of the air-fuel mixture. Hence, the ignition timing affects many parameters including fuel overall economy and engine power output. Earlier motors that use mechanical spark marketers rely on the inertia of rotating weights and springs and manifold vacuum in order to set the ignition timing throughout the RPM range of the engine; whereas the latest machines consists of an ECU (engine control product) which runs on the computer to control the ignition timing throughout the engine's RPM range.

Factors influencing ignition timing:

Type of ignition system used.

Engine rate.

Load of the engine: with an increase of load (greater throttle starting) needing less advance (as the blend melts away faster).

Components used in the ignition system.

Settings of the ignition system components.

Temperature of the engine; lower temperature allows for more advance.

The ignition timing somewhat also depends upon the octane quantity of the gas, and the air-fuel percentage as this decides the acceleration with which the fuel melts away.

Usually, any major engine changes or upgrades will require an alteration to the ignition timing adjustments of the engine unit.

Timing Progress: identifies the number of certifications before top dead centre (bTDC) that the spark will ignite the air-fuel concoction in the combustion chamber during the compression stroke. In contrast to that, timing retard identifies the changing in ignition timing, so that the fuel ignition takes place later than the manufacturer's particular time. As an example, if the set in place ignition time was 12 bTDC, when the petrol ignition starts later than 12 bTDC, it is recognized as ignition retard; similarly when the air-fuel blend is ignited at an perspective greater than 12 bTDC, it might be known as ignition progress.

Timing advance is necessary because it takes time for the combustion of the air-fuel concoction to complete. Igniting the mix before the piston ends its compression heart stroke would take full advantage of the limit to that your mixture burns completely, and therefore help to build up maximum pressure soon after the piston gets to the TDC. This might ensure maximum power output by increasing the push with which the piston is pushed down, by maximizing the pressure when the piston starts off going down when the power stroke is set up. Ideally, the combination should be completely burnt by 20 aTDC (after TDC).

If the ignition occurs at a posture that is too advanced relative to the piston position, the swiftly expanding air-fuel combination can actually thrust from the piston still moving up, causing detonation and lost power; whereas if the ignition is too retarded in accordance with the piston position, the maximum cylinder pressure will happen after the piston has already travelled too much down the cylinder. This might result in lost power accompanied by high emissions and unburnt energy.

Why is Ignition timing progress required?

The ignition timing must be increasingly advanced (in accordance with the TDC) as the engine speed increases, so the air-fuel mixture gets the correct timeframe to lose completely. As the engine unit speed increases, enough time available to burn off the mixture reduces while the losing itself proceeds at the same rate; this involves the burning to start earlier to complete with time. The correct timing move forward for confirmed engine speed will allow for maximum cylinder pressure to be performed at the right crankshaft angular position.

Combustion in SI Engines:

The combustion process in SI machines includes three major parts:

Ignition and flame development,

Flame propagation, and

Flame termination.

Consumption of the first 5-10% of the air-fuel mix is generally considered as the flame development. During the fire development period, the spark plug fires and the combustion process begins, but very little pressure climb is detected (graph-1). Almost all the useful work is stated in an engine pattern during the fire propagation period of the combustion process. During this time period 80-90% of the air-fuel mass is burnt; the cylinder pressure is greatly increased which provides the force to create work in the extension stroke. The final 5-10% of the air-fuel mass which can burn is grouped as flame termination. During this time, pressure drops and combustion is finally terminated.

The combustion process ideally includes an exothermic sub-sonic flame progression by way of a premixes almost homogenous air-fuel combination. The get spread around of the fire front side is greatly improved by the induced turbulence and swirl within the cylinder.

Ignition and Fire Development:

The procedure for combustion is initiated by a power discharge over the electrodes of an spark plug ranging from 10 to 30 bTDC, depending on geometry of the combustion chamber. The high-temperature plasma discharge between the electrodes ignites the air-fuel combination in the immediate vicinity, and the flame spreads outwards from here.

Graph. The upsurge in pressure rise is very gradual after ignition during the fire development period. This ends up with a gradual pressure drive increase on the piston and a clean engine circuit. Maximum pressure occurs 5 to 10 aTDC.

The combustion starts very slowly because of the high heat deficits to the relatively cool spark plug and the gas concoction. The flame can generally be recognized at about 6 of crank rotation following the spark plug firing.

The applied potential over the spark plug is usually 25, 000-40, 000 V. overall spark release will last about 0. 001 second with the average temperature of about 6000 K. The release of the spark plug provides about 30 to 50 mJ of energy, the majority of which is lost by heat transfer.

Ignition Systems:

The few frequently used methods used to produce the high voltage probable, which is required to cause the electric powered discharge across the spark plug electrodes, are:

Battery-coil combination:

Most automobiles use a 12-volt electronic system, including a 12-volt electric battery. This voltage is multiplied often by the coil that provides the very high potential delivered to the spark plug.

Capacitor Release:

Some systems use a capacitor to release across the spark plug electrodes at the proper time.

Magneto system:

Most small machines and some much larger ones use a magneto powered off the engine motor crankshaft to generate the needed spark plug voltage.

Some motors have another high-voltage era system for each and every spark plug, as the others have a single system with a distributor that shifts in one cylinder to another.

The Spark Plug:

The gap between your electrodes on a modern spark plug is about 0. 7 to at least one 1. 7 mm. smaller gaps are acceptable when there is a abundant air-fuel concoction or if the pressure is high (i. e. high inlet pressure by turbocharging or a higher compression percentage). Normal temps of spark plug electrodes between firings should be about 650 to 700 C. A temperatures above 950C hazards the opportunity of surface ignition, and a temperature below 350C tends to promote surface fouling over extended time.

For older motors with worn piston bands that burn an excessive amount of essential oil, hotter plugs are suggested to avoid fouling. Hotter plugs have a larger heat conduction level of resistance than colder plugs. Modern spark plugs have a greater life span than the old ones. Some of the high quality spark plugs with platinum-tipped electrodes are created to previous 160, 000 kilometres or even more. Harley Davidson uses gold-tipped spark plugs. One reason this is appealing is the difficulty in swapping spark plugs in a few modern engines because of the complexity and compactness of engine and increased amount of engine equipment.

Figure. An NGK spark plug

Spark plug firing:

When a spark plug fires, the plasma release ignites the air-fuel mix between and nearby the electrodes. This creates a spherical flame forward that propagates outward in to the combustion chamber. Initially, the flame front side moves very slowly but surely due to its original size; it does not create enough energy to quickly heat the surrounding gases and so propagates very slowly but surely. Because of this, the cylinder pressure is not lifted quickly and incredibly little compression heat is experienced. After the first 5-10% of the air-fuel mass is burnt, the fire velocity reaches higher ideals with corresponding climb in pressure, the fire propagation region.

It is suitable to truly have a rich air-fuel concoction surrounding the electrodes of the spark plug at ignition, as it ignited easily and more conveniently, has a faster fire rate and initiates the combustion process well. Spark plugs are generally located nearby the intake valves to make sure a richer mix, in particular when starting a chilly engine.

Latest advancements in spark plug/ignition system technology:

The efforts to build up better ignition system continue. Spark plugs with several electrodes and two or more simultaneous sparks are actually available. They provide a more regular ignition and quicker fire development. Among the modern systems still under development gives a continuing arc following the initial release; this additional spark will speed up combustion and present a far more complete combustion as the air-fuel combination swirls through the combustion chamber. Development work has been done to make a spark plug with adjustable electrode difference size. This would allow flexibility in ignition for different operating conditions. At least one vehicle manufacturer is experimenting with motors that use a spot together with the piston as one of the spark electrodes. Using this technique, spark ignition can be initiated over the gaps of 1 1. 5 to 8 mm with a reported cutting down of fuel ingestion and emissions.

Flame Propagation:

Induced turbulence and swirl causes the flame propagation quickness to increase by 10 times than if there have been a laminar flame front moving via a stationary gas blend. These motions also cause the fire front to broaden spherically from the spark plug in stationary air and it is greatly distorted and pass on. As the gas combination burns, the temps and pressure rise to high beliefs.

Figure. An average flame propagation routine.

The burnt gases behind the fire front are hotter than the unburnt gases before the flame front, with all the current gases at a comparable pressure. This decreases the thickness of the burnt gases and expands them to occupy a larger percentage of the full total combustion chamber quantity. Compression of the unburnt gases increases their temperatures by compressive home heating. In addition, radiation heating emitted from the fire reaction zone, which reaches a temp on the order of 3000 K, further heats the gases in the combustion chamber, unburnt and burnt, elevating the pressure further. Warmth transfer by conduction and convection are slight when compared with radiation, scheduled to very short real time involved with each cycle.

The environment inside the combustion chamber is such that the progressive upsurge in temperature and pressure in occurring, causing the reaction time to decrease and flame front velocity to increase. The temp of the burnt gases is not consistent. It really is higher near to the spark plug where the combustion acquired initiated. Ultimately, the air-fuel concoction should be around two-thirds burnt at TDC and almost completely burnt at about 15 aTDC. This triggers the utmost pressure and temperature of the cycle to occur somewhere between 5 and 10 aTDC.

A smaller pressure surge rate provides lower thermal efficiency and danger of knock. The combustion process is therefore a bargain between the highest thermal efficiency possible and a soft engine pattern with some lack of efficiency.

Burn viewpoint, Ignition and Ignition advance:

The typical burn viewpoint, the angle through which the crankshaft turns during combustion, is approximately 25 for most engines. If combustion is to be completed at 15 aTDC then ignition should happen at about 20 bTDC. If ignition is too early, the cylinder pressure increase to undesirable levels before TDC, and useful work would be wasted in compression stroke. If ignition is past due, peak pressure will not occur early on enough, and work will be lost at the start of power heart stroke due to lower pressure.

Graph. Average fire quickness in the combustion chamber. Slim air-fuel mixtures have slower flame rates of speed, with maximum swiftness occurring when just a little rich blend at an equivalence ratio near 1. 2

Actual ignition timing is typically from 10 to 30 bTDC, depending on the fuel used, engine unit geometry, and engine motor speed. For any given engine unit, the combustion occurs faster at higher engine speed. Real time for combustion is therefore less, but real-time for engine cycle is also less, and the burn perspective is only just a bit changed.

This little change is corrected by improving the spark as the engine swiftness in increased. This initiates combustion just a little earlier in the routine, peak heat and pressure staying at about 5 to 10 aTDC. At part throttle, ignition timing is advanced to pay for the causing slower flame swiftness.

Graph. Burn angle as a function of engine motor speed.

Timing adjustment in Modern machines:

Modern motors automatically modify ignition timing with electronic digital controls. These not only use engine speed to create the timing but also sense and make fine modification for knock and incorrect exhaust emissions. Previously engines used a mechanised timing modification that consisted of a spring-loaded ignition distributor that evolved with engine speed credited to centrifugal pushes. Ignition timing on many small engines is defined at the average position without modification possible.

Graph. Average combustion chamber fire acceleration as a function of engine motor speed for an average SI engine.

Flame Termination:

90 - 95% of the air-fuel mass has been combusted by 15 to 20 aTDC and the flame front has already reached the extreme edges of the combustion chamber. The very last 5 - 10% of the mass has been compressed into a few percent of the combustion chamber level by the broadening using up gases behind the flame front. Although at this point the piston has already moved from TDC, the combustion chamber size has only increased on the order of 10 - 20% from the small clearance level. This means that the last mass of air and energy will react in an exceedingly small quantity in the area of the combustion chamber and over the chamber surfaces, at a reduced rate.

Near the walls, turbulence and mass action of the gas mixture have dampened out and there is a stagnant boundary level. The large mass of metallic cylinder wall surfaces also become a heat sink and conduct away much of the energy released in the effect flame. Both these mechanisms decrease the rate of reaction and flame velocity, and the flame is finally terminated as it slowly dies out.

Although hardly any additional work is delivered by the piston during the flame termination, it still is a desirable event. Because the climb in cylinder pressure tapers off slowly but surely towards zero during this flame termination, the forces transmitted to the piston also taper off little by little resulting in even engine procedure.

Self Ignition:

During the fire termination period, self-ignition will sometimes arise in the long run gas and engine knock will occur. The temp of the unburnt gases before the flame forward continues to rise during the combustion process, attaining a maximum within the last end gas. The utmost heat range is often above self-ignition temperature. Because the fire front moves slowly and gradually at this time, the gases are often not consumed during ignition hold off time, and self-ignition occurs.

The ensuing knock is not often objectionable or even visible. This is because there exists so little unburnt air-fuel still left at this time that self-ignition can only cause very small pressure pulses. Maximum electric power is extracted from an engine motor when it performs with very little self-ignition and knock at the end of the combustion process. This occurs when maximum pressure and temp can be found in the combustion chamber and knock offers a small pressure boost by the end of combustion.

Abnormal Combustion:

Abnormal combustion is described a combustion process when a flame front side may be started out by hot combustion chamber areas either preceding to or after spark ignition, or an activity where some part or every one of the demand may be consumed at extremely high rates.

Figure. Occurrence of abnormal combustion

The two important unusual combustion phenomena of major concern are:

Knock, and

Surface Ignition

They are of major matter, because:

When severe, they can cause major engine damage; and

Even if not severe, they can be thought to be an objectionable source of noise by the engine unit or vehicle operator.

Knock: is the name directed at the noise which is sent through the engine composition when essentially spontaneous ignition of some of the end gas. That is when the energy, air, residual gas, combination ahead of the propagating fire occurs.

When this technique occurs, there can be an extremely quick release of much of the chemical substance energy in the end gas, causing very high local stresses and the propagation of pressure waves of considerable amplitude over the combustion chamber.

Surface Ignition: is ignition of the fuel-air concoction by a spot on the combustion chamber wall surfaces such as an overheated valve or spark plug, or glowing combustion chamber deposit: i. e. by any other means other than the normal spark discharge.

It may appear before the occurrence of the spark (pre-ignition) or after (post-ignition). Following a surface ignition, a turbulent fire builds up at each surface-ignition location and starts to propagate over the chamber in an analogous manner from what occurs with normal spark ignition.

Types of Unusual Combustion in SI Engines:

Spark Knock:

A knock which is repeated and repeatable in terms of audibility. It is controllable by the spark move forward; improving the spark increases the knock power and retarding the spark reduces the depth.

Surface Ignition: hot places - combustion chamber deposits:

Surface ignition is ignition of the fuel-air mixture charge by any hot surface apart from the spark release before the arrival of the standard flame front. It could occur prior to the spark ignites the demand (pre-ignition) or after normal ignition (post-ignition).

Surface ignition can be of two types:

Knocking surface ignition: Knock which includes been preceded by surface ignition. It isn't controllable by spark move forward.

Non-Knocking surface ignition: Surface ignition which does not bring about knock.


It is the continuation of engine motor firing following the electro-mechanical ignition is shut off.

Runaway surface ignition:

Surface ignition which occurs earlier and earlier in the pattern. It could lead to serious overheating and structural damage to the engine motor.

Wild Ping:

Knocking surface ignition seen as a one or more erratic sharp splits. It is possibly the result of early on surface ignition from first deposit particles.


A low-pitched thudding sound accompanied by engine roughness. It is probably induced by high rates of pressure rise associated with early ignition or multiple surface ignitions.

Knock mostly occurs under wide-open-throttle operating condition. It really is thus a direct constraint on engine unit performance. In addition, it constraints engine efficiency, since by effectively limiting the temperature and pressure of the end-gas, it restricts the engine unit compression proportion. The incident and severeness of the knock be based upon the knock resistance of the petrol and on the anti-knock characteristics of the engine unit.

Measures to avoid knocking:

The potential of the petrol to avoid knock is procedures by its octane number; higher octane figures indicate greater amount of resistance to knock. Gas octane ratings can be improved upon by refining techniques, such as catalytic cracking and reforming, which convert low-octane hydrocarbons to high-octane hydrocarbons.

Also, antiknock chemicals such as alcohols, business lead alkyls, or an organomanganese ingredient can be utilized. The octane number dependence on an engine depends on how its design and conditions under which it is managed affect the heat range and pressure of the end-gas ahead of the flame and the time required to burn up the cylinder charge. An engine's inclination to knock, as defined by its octane amount is increased by factors that produce higher temperature and stresses or extend the burning up time.

Octane Need: can be explained as the octane score of the gas required to avoid knock.

Thus knock is a constraint that is determined by both the quality of the available fuels and on the power of the engine motor designer to attain the desired normal combustion habit while keeping the engine's trend to knock at the very least. Some major steps:

The use of an fuel with higher octane quantity.

The addition of octane-increasing additives in the fuel

Ignition Timing Retardation.

Use of the spark plug of colder heating range, in situations, where the spark plug insulator has become a source of pre-ignition resulting in knock.

Reduction of charge heat range e. g. through fuel evaporation inside the cylinder (GDI)

Anti knock combustion chamber design.

Consequences of engine unit knock:

The engine motor can be harmed by knock in various ways:

-piston ring sticking - damage of the piston bands - failing of the cylinder brain gasket

-cylinder head erosion - piston crown and top erosion -piston melting and holing

Examples of component destruction credited to pre ignition and knock are shown below:


A stroboscope in an tool used to make cyclically moving object look like moving gradual or fixed. The principle is used for the study of spinning, reciprocating, oscillating or vibrating items. Machine parts and vibrating strings are normal examples.

In its simplest form, a rotating disc with evenly-spaced openings is placed in the type of sight between the observer and the moving subject. The rotational speed of the disc is adjusted so that it becomes synchronised with the motion of the observed system, which appears to slow and stop. The illusion is induced by temporal aliasing, often called the stroboscopic impact.

In electronic variations, the perforated disk is replaced by a lamp with the capacity of emitting short and quick flashes of light. The consistency of the adobe flash is adjusted such that it is an equal to, or a device small percentage below or above the object's cyclic quickness, at which point the object is seen to be either stationary or moving backward or forwards, depending on the flash rate of recurrence.


Engine Speed

Throttle Position

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