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Wankel engine - Wikipedia

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The DKM motor reached higher revolutions per minute and was more naturally balanced. However, the engine needed to be stripped to change the spark plugs and contained more parts. The KKM engine was simpler, having a fixed housing. NSU was to concentrate on low and medium-powered Wankel engine development with Curtiss-Wright developing high-powered engines, including aircraft engines of which Curtiss-Wright had decades of experience designing and producing.

Many manufacturers signed license agreements for development, attracted by the smoothness, quiet running, and reliability emanating from the uncomplicated design.

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General Motors seemed to have concluded the Wankel engine was slightly more expensive to build than an equivalent reciprocating engine. General Motors claimed to have solved the fuel economy issue, but failed in obtaining in a concomitant way to acceptable exhaust emissions. Mercedes-Benz fitted a Wankel engine in their C concept car. The design was proposed as the power source for United States Marine Corps combat vehicles and other equipment in the late s.

This two-rotor engine was included in the Commander and F1. Norton improved on the Sachs's air cooling, introducing a plenum chamber. Suzuki also made a production motorcycle powered by a Wankel engine, the RE-5using ferro TiC alloy apex seals and an NSU rotor in a successful attempt to prolong the engine's life. NSU had problems with apex seals' wear, poor shaft lubrication, and poor fuel economy, leading to frequent engine failures, not solved untilwhich led to large warranty costs curtailing further NSU Wankel engine development.

This premature release of the new Wankel engine gave a poor reputation for all makes and even when these issues were solved in the last engines produced by NSU in the second half of the '70s, sales did not recover.

The engine was installed in an Audi hull named "Audi ", but was not mass-produced. Mazda 's first Wankel engine, at the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima, Japan Mazda, however, claimed to have solved the apex seal problem operating test engines at high speed for hours without failure. The company followed with a number of Wankel "rotary" in the company's terminology vehicles, including a bus and a pickup truck. Customers often cited the cars' smoothness of operation.

However, Mazda chose a method to comply with hydrocarbon emission standards that, while less expensive to produce, increased fuel consumption. Unfortunately for Mazda, this was introduced immediately prior to a sharp rise in fuel prices. Curtiss-Wright produced the RC engine which was comparable to a V8 engine in performance and fuel consumption. The company normally used two-rotor designs. A more advanced twin- turbo three-rotor engine was fitted in the Eunos Cosmo sports car. InMazda introduced the Renesis engine fitted in the RX The Renesis engine relocated the ports for exhaust from the periphery of the rotary housing to the sides, allowing for larger overall ports, better airflow, and further power gains.

Some early Wankel engines had also side exhaust ports, the concept being abandoned because of carbon buildup in ports and the sides of the rotor.

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The Renesis engine solved the problem by using a keystone scraper side seal, and approached the thermal distortion difficulties by adding some parts made of ceramics. However, this was not enough to meet more stringent emissions standards. Mazda ended production of their Wankel engine in after the engine failed to meet the improved Euro 5 emission standardsleaving no automotive company selling a Wankel-powered vehicle. Mazda states that the SkyActiv-R solves the three key issues with previous rotary engines: MeyersAMC's vice president of the engineering product group, suggested that AMC should buy the engines from Curtiss-Wright before developing its own Wankel engines, and predicted a total transition to rotary power by The oil crisis played a part in frustrating the uptake of the Wankel engine.

Rising fuel prices and talk about proposed US emission standards legislation also added to concerns. Those findings were not taken into account when the cancellation order was issued. Most of the production went to the security services. A rotary version of the Samara was sold to Russian public from Aviadvigatelthe Soviet aircraft engine design bureau, is known to have produced Wankel engines with electronic injection for aircraft and helicopters, though little specific information has surfaced.

Ford conducted research in Wankel engines, resulting in patents granted: InHenry Ford II stated that the rotary probably won't replace the piston in "my lifetime". The "A" marks one of the three apices of the rotor. The "B" marks the eccentric shaft and the white portion is the lobe of the eccentric shaft. The shaft turns 3 times for each rotation of the rotor around the lobe and once for each orbital revolution around the eccentric shaft.

In the Wankel engine, the four strokes of an Otto cycle piston engine occur in the space between a three-sided symmetric rotor and the inside of a housing.

In each rotor of the Wankel engine, the oval-like epitrochoid -shaped housing surrounds a rotor which is triangular with bow-shaped flanks often confused with a Reuleaux triangle[30] a three-pointed curve of constant widthbut with the bulge in the middle of each side a bit more flattened. The theoretical shape of the rotor between the fixed corners is the result of a minimization of the volume of the geometric combustion chamber and a maximization of the compression ratiorespectively.

The central drive shaft, called the "eccentric shaft" or "E-shaft", passes through the center of the rotor and is supported by fixed bearings. The rotors both rotate around the eccentrics and make orbital revolutions around the eccentric shaft. Seals at the corners of the rotor seal against the periphery of the housing, dividing it into three moving combustion chambers. The power output of the engine is not transmitted through the synchronizing gears.

The force of expanded gas pressure on the rotor exerts pressure to the centre of the eccentric part of the output shaft. The easiest way to visualize the action of the engine in the animation at left is to look not at the rotor itself, but the cavity created between it and the housing.

The Wankel engine is actually a variable-volume progressing-cavity system. Thus, there are three cavities per housing, all repeating the same cycle. Points A and B on the rotor and E-shaft turn at different speeds—point B circles three times as often as point A does, so that one full orbit of the rotor equates to three turns of the E-shaft. As the rotor rotates orbitally revolving, each side of the rotor is brought closer to and then away from the wall of the housing, compressing and expanding the combustion chamber like the strokes of a piston in a reciprocating piston engine.

The power vector of the combustion stage goes through the center of the offset lobe. While a four-stroke piston engine completes one combustion stroke per cylinder for every two rotations of the crankshaft that is, one-half power stroke per crankshaft rotation per cylindereach combustion chamber in the Wankel generates one combustion stroke per driveshaft rotation, i. Thus, the power output of a Wankel engine is generally higher than that of a four-stroke piston engine of similar engine displacement in a similar state of tune; and higher than that of a four-stroke piston engine of similar physical dimensions and weight.

Wankel engines generally are able to reach much higher engine revolutions than reciprocating engines of similar power output. This is due partly to the smoothness inherent in circular motion, and the fact that the "engine" rpm is of the output shaft which is 1. The eccentric shafts do not have the stress related contours of crankshafts.

The maximum revolutions of a rotary engine is limited by tooth load on the synchronizing gears. However, as gas pressure participates in seal efficiency, racing a Wankel engine at high rpm under no load conditions can destroy the engine.

National agencies that tax automobiles according to displacement and regulatory bodies in automobile racing variously consider the Wankel engine to be equivalent to a four-stroke piston engine of 1.

Some racing series have banned the Wankel altogether, along with all other alternatives to the traditional reciprocating piston four-stroke design due to the perceived advantages of the design in racing applications.


Mazda L10A camber axial cooling Middle: Diamond Engines Wankel radial cooling only the hot bow Felix Wankel managed to overcome most of the problems that made previous rotary engines fail by developing a configuration with vane seals that had a tip radius equal to the amount of "oversize" of the rotor housing form, as compared to the theoretical epitrochoid, to minimize radial apex seal motion plus introducing a cylindrical gas-loaded apex pin which abutted all sealing elements to seal around the three planes at each rotor apex.

However, patented design such as U. Patent 3,G. Patent 3,"Device for machining trochoidal inner walls", and others, solved the problem. Rotary engines have a problem not found in reciprocating piston four-stroke engines in that the block housing has intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust occurring at fixed locations around the housing. In contrast, reciprocating engines perform these four strokes in one chamber, so that extremes of "freezing" intake and "flaming" exhaust are averaged and shielded by a boundary layer from overheating working parts.

The use of heat pipes in an air-cooled Wankel was proposed by the University of Florida to overcome this uneven heating of the block housing. This gives a more constant surface temperature. The temperature around the spark plug is about the same as the temperature in the combustion chamber of a reciprocating engine. With circumferential or axial flow cooling, the temperature difference remains tolerable.

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For a while, engineers were faced with what they called "chatter marks" and "devil's scratch" in the inner epitrochoid surface. They discovered that the cause was the apex seals reaching a resonating vibration, and the problem was solved by reducing the thickness and weight of apex seals.

Scratches disappeared after the introduction of more compatible materials for seals and housing coatings. These approaches did not require a high-conductivity copper insert, but did not preclude its use.

Four-stroke reciprocating engines are not very suitable for use with hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen can misfire on hot parts like the exhaust valve and spark plugs. Another problem concerns the hydrogenate attack on the lubricating film in reciprocating engines.

In a Wankel engine, this problem is circumvented by using a ceramic apex seal against a ceramic surface, so that there is no oil film to suffer hydrogenate attack.

The piston shell must be lubricated and cooled with oil. This substantially increases the lubricating oil consumption in a four-stroke hydrogen engine. For engines with more than two rotors, coupling two bi-rotor sets by a serrate coupling between the two rotor sets has been tested successfully. Research in the United Kingdom under the SPARCS Self-Pressurising-Air Rotor Cooling System project, found that idle stability and economy was obtained by supplying an ignitable mix to only one rotor in a multi-rotor engine in a forced-air cooled rotor, similar to the Norton air-cooled designs.

The Wankel engine's drawbacks of inadequate lubrication and cooling in ambient temperatures, short engine lifespan, high emissions and low fuel efficiencies were tackled by Norton rotary engine specialist David Garsidewho developed three patented systems in A problem with rotary engines is that the engine housing has permanently cool and hot surfaces when running.

It also generates excessive heat inside the engine which breaks down lubricating oil quickly. The SPARCS system reduces this wide differential in heat temperatures in the metal of the engine housing, and also cooling the rotor from inside the body of the engine. This results in reduced engine wear prolonging engine life. This is self-pressurised by capturing the blow-by past the rotor side gas seals from the working chambers.

The reactor, located in the exhaust stream outside of the engine's combustion chamber, consumes unburnt exhaust products without using a second ignition system before directing burnt gasses into the exhaust pipe.

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Horse power is given to the reactors shaft. Lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency are achieved. While this places great demands on the materials used, the simplicity of the Wankel makes it easier to use alternative materials, such as exotic alloys and ceramics.

With water cooling in a radial or axial flow direction, and the hot water from the hot bow heating the cold bow, the thermal expansion remains tolerable. Several materials have been used for plating the housing working surface, Nikasil being one.

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For the apex seals, the choice of materials has evolved along with the experience gained, from carbon alloys, to steel, ferrotic, and other materials. The combination between housing plating and apex and side seals materials was determined experimentally, to obtain the best duration of both seals and housing cover.

For the shaft, steel alloys with little deformation on load are preferred, the use of Maraging steel has been proposed for this. Leaded gasoline was the predominant type available in the first years of the Wankel engine's development. Lead is a solid lubricant, and leaded gasoline is designed to reduce the wearing of seal and housings. The first engines had the oil supply calculated with consideration of gasoline's lubricating qualities.

As leaded gasoline was being phased out, Wankel engines needed an increased mix of oil in the gasoline to provide lubrication to critical engine parts.

Many engineers agree that the addition of oil to gasoline as in old two-stroke engines is a safer approach for engine reliability than an oil pump injecting into the intake system or directly to the parts requiring lubrication. A combined oil-in-fuel plus oil metering pump is always possible. Also, in earlier model Wankel engines, carbon particles could become trapped between the seal and the casing, jamming the engine and requiring a partial rebuild.

Further sealing problems arose from the uneven thermal distribution within the housings causing distortion and loss of sealing and compression. This thermal distortion also caused uneven wear between the apex seal and the rotor housing, evident on higher mileage engines. However, Mazda rotary engines solved these initial problems. Current engines have nearly seal-related parts. Fuel economy and emissions[ edit ] The shape of the Wankel combustion chamber is more resistant to preignition operating on lower- octane rating gasoline than a comparable piston engine.

This would result in a larger amount of unburned hydrocarbons released into the exhaust. The exhaust is, however, relatively low in NOx emissions, because combustion temperatures are lower than in other engines, and also because of some inherent exhaust gas recirculation EGR in early engines.

However, in extreme cases involving unusual loading of the mixture control and complete detachment of the conduit from the housing, some loss or complete loss of mixture control authority could occur.

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McFarlane has changed the design of the swaged joint to prevent cracking in the current production parts. McFarlane has addressed this issue in Service Bulletin SB-4, dated June 22,which outlines removal and replacement requirements of the affected part numbers and lot numbers. For additional details and photographs, refer to the SB at: It does not apply to any McFarlane mixture or propeller controls manufactured with a threaded rod end.

He also found damage on the number five push rod and housing and on the hydraulic lifter assembly. The submitter stated the engine was manufactured on July 23, TCM requested that he send them the broken rocker arm.

The crack was approximately 2. On November 11,crankcase cracked. On October 6,crankcase cracked approximately 1. The insulation seems to be of inferior quality, and the leads are too long on current stators when compared to previous stators.

The insulation does not appear to withstand routine rubbing on the case during normal vibration. The insulation is breaking down and shorting to the case. In the opinion of the submitter, the insulation is about one third the thickness of the leads previously used.

The new wire also appears to be stiffer than wire used in the past. This web site is still under construction and further changes will be made; however, the site is now active, usable, and contains a great deal of information. Various electronic versions of this form have been used in the past; however, this new electronic version is more user friendly and replaces all other versions. You can complete the form online and submit the information electronically.

The form is used for all aircraft except certificated air carriers who are provided a different electronic form. The Internet address is: Many of you have inquired about this service. It is now available, and we encourage everyone to use this format when submitting aviation, service-related information.