Engine Components and Their Function

An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a type of heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer, typically air, in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an ICE, the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some component of the engine. ICEs are highly efficient and easy to start & disengage. There are five main parts of an ICE: the fuel system, lubrication system, air intake system, exhaust system, and electrical system. In this blog, we will discuss each part and its functions.

The first part of an ICE is the fuel system. Within the engine, fuel travels to the cylinder through the following path: fuel tank > water separator > feed pump > filter > injection pump > injector nozzle > cylinder. The fuel tank, usually made from sheet metal, is where fuel is stored. In the water separator, impurities are separated from the fuel before being sent to the feed pump, which funnels fuel into the filter and injection pump. From here, the injector nozzle sends fuel into the combustion chamber, where it combusts to create power.

The lubrication system is critical to engine operation. It serves five main purposes, those being: reducing the wear of rubbing surfaces and preventing seizure, reducing the power needed to overcome frictional resistance, removing heat from the piston and other parts, separating piston rings and cylinders, and removing foreign debris from the engine. The lubrication system ensures engine parts remain properly lubricated by sending lubricating oil throughout the engine under pressure feed.

The next system, the air intake system, consists of the air cleaner, turbo charger, intake manifold, inlet port, inlet valve, and cylinder bore. The air cleaner is essentially a filter that prevents debris from entering the cylinder. The turbo charger, featuring two impellers driven by exhaust air, compresses air from the filter before it enters the cylinder, resulting in high efficiency. The intake manifold takes the air from the turbo charger to the inlet port, where the inlet valve allows it to exit into the air.

In the exhaust system, exhaust gases flow through the following path: cylinder bore > exhaust valve > exhaust port > exhaust manifold > turbocharger > muffler. Exhaust travels through the muffler to reduce engine noise. Exhaust gases have a higher pressure than the atmospheric pressure and, if these gases were released directly into the atmosphere, it would create a loud and unpleasant noise. The muffler also helps cool the exhaust gases.

The final part of the internal combustion engine is the electrical system. The electrical system comprises three main parts: the starter motor, alternator, and battery. The starter motor serves to rotate the flywheel. It receives power from the battery and uses its pinion to engage with the teeth of the flywheel. This rotates the flywheel, which in turn rotates the crankshaft. The crankshaft rotation leads to the movement of pistons in the cylinders, drawing air into the combustion chamber and helping the engine to start. The alternator’s job is to charge the batteries. It is fixed on the engine and has a belt used to drive the shaft. Lastly, the electrical system consists of two batteries, each with a twelve volt capacity.



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