Effects of variable-volume Helmholtz resonator on air mass flow rate of intake manifold

  • Sérgio de Morais HanriotEmail author
  • Jaqueline Mendes Queiroz
  • Cristiana Brasil Maia


The application of geometric modifications to the intake manifold to improve engine breathing provides positive results using different strategies. Helmholtz resonators (HR) are one of the most basic acoustic models and are widely used in engineering applications. Most of the works presented in the literature focus on the use of HR in the fields of acoustics. The present work experimentally investigates pulsating flow characteristics of the engine intake manifold and the effects of a Helmholtz resonator with variable internal volume. In this paper, acoustic studies were used to model the intake manifold and to develop a complex expression to determine the natural frequency of the system. The model included the primary and secondary intake pipes and the resonator. Experiments were conducted on a straight intake pipe connected to an engine cylinder head mounted on a test flow bench, especially designed for fluid dynamic studies of engine intake systems with unsteady flow conditions. Using electronic controls, the internal volume of the resonator was varied and adjusted according to the frequency of the valves as well as the natural frequency of the intake manifold. The natural frequency of the system was determined from a numerical model of the intake manifold. The results showed the internal volume of the resonator and frequency tuning affect the intake air mass flow rate at a wide range of camshaft velocities. For a fixed volume, the average increase of the mass flow rate was 17.8%, and when the volume was adjusted according to valve frequency, the average increase was 24.7%. The highest intake air mass flow rate was increased 31.5% when the resonator was tuned to the frequency of the system.


Internal combustion engine Variable Helmholtz resonator Intake system Pulsating flow Gas dynamics 

List of symbols


Cross-sectional area of the straight section of the neck (m2)


Cross-sectional area of the straight section of tube (m2)


Speed of sound (m/s)


Acoustic capacitance of the resonator (m4 s2/kg)


Frequency of resonance (Hz)


Frequency of resonator (Hz)


Helmholtz resonator


1 L internal volume resonator


Helmholtz resonator tuned to the valve frequency


Helmholtz resonator tuned to the system frequency


Length of the pipe (m)


Partial length of the pipe between resonator and reference point (m)


Partial length of the intake pipe before resonator (m)


Length of the neck (m)


Air density (kg/m3)


Inertia of the neck of the resonator (kg/m4)


Acoustic resistance of the resonator (kg/m4 s)


Radius of the tube (m)


Volume of the resonator chamber (m3)


Acoustic impedance of the resonator (kg/m4 s)


Impedance of the closed-end pipe (kg/m4 s)


Impedance of the open-end pipe (kg/m4 s)



The authors thank FIAT CHRYSLER, PUC Minas, CAPES, CNPq and FAPEMIG for the financial support of this project.


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringPontifical Catholic University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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