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The German engineer Rudolf Diesel patented the diesel engine in 1893.
diesel engine, engine, internal combustion engine, cylinders, diesel, cardan, axis, diesel oil, crankshaft, piston, valve, injection, compression, intake, explosion, automobile, truck, car, bus, bar, power stroke, self-ignition, environmental pollution, environmental damage, air pollution, heat engine, work, cycle, automobile factory, car manufacturing, thermodynamics, physics
We know that cars are powered by engines, but how do they work exactly? The rotating motion of an engine’s crankshaft is transmitted to the wheels by the drive shaft. The gearbox changes the number of rotations of the driven wheels during one turn of the crankshaft. In low gear, the output of the engine is high but the speed is low; in high gear, the car is faster and uses less fuel but accelerates more slowly.
Besides four-stroke engines, the most common types of engine in cars are diesel engines, which are powered by diesel oil rather than petrol. The alternating vertical motion of the pistons in the diesel engine is converted into the rotation of the crankshaft. The crankshaft drives the drive shaft and the camshaft through the timing belt. The camshaft operates the valves, which ensure the intake of air and the expulsion of exhaust gases through a coordinated, rhythmic opening and closing.
The first stroke is the intake. The piston moves downwards, decreasing the pressure in the cylinder. The intake valve opens, and air flows into the cylinder.
The second stroke is the compression: both the intake and the exhaust valves are closed then. The momentum of the crankshaft and the counterweight causes the piston to move upwards, compressing the air and thereby increasing its temperature.
The third stroke is the power stroke. The diesel oil injected into the compressed and heated air ignites. Unlike petrol engines, diesel engines do not need spark plugs to ignite the fuel. The explosion pushes the piston down.
The fourth stroke is the exhaust stroke. The piston moves upwards, the exhaust valve opens and the exhaust gases are expelled.
As you can see, the linear motion of the piston is converted into the rotating motion of the crankshaft. The energy necessary to move the piston is supplied by the combustion of the diesel oil.
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