The Theory of Wave Action Approaches Applied to Reciprocating Engines

  • D. E. Winterbone


It has long been realized that the design of the inlet and exhaust manifolds has a large effect on the performance of reciprocating engines. The unsteady nature of the induction and exhaust processes means that the effect of the manifold on charging and discharging is extremely dependent upon the engine speed. This is because the impedance (or admittance) of the manifold is a function of the frequency of the pulses entering it. The outcome of this is that it is possible to tune the manifolds to give a particular engine power output characteristic as a function of speed. In the case of a racing engine the manifolds will be designed to produce high power outputs at high speeds; this will produce the maximum specific power (power/weight) from the engine, but probably at the expense of flexibility. This is not an insurmountable problem in a racing car where the driver is skilled at obtaining the maximum performance from his vehicle by the use of the tachometer and the gearbox. However, the average driver does not want such a temperamental machine and road-going engines are often tuned to give a much more forgiving engine characteristic. Most modern car engines are designed to give a high torque at low engine speed; this means that as the engine slows down the torque rises, obviating the need to change gear.


Diesel Engine Pressure Ratio Internal Combustion Engine Compressible Flow Loss Coefficient 
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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. E. Winterbone
    • 1
  1. 1.UMISTManchesterUK

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