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Classifications of Internal combustion engine

Internal combustion engine is the first automobile engine that exist. It works using small controlled explosion to power a vehicle. However electric engine now exist, offering greater advantages than any of the previous types.

Internal combustion engine

Knowing the various internal combustion engine is quite confusing but understanding this article will help you to distinguish. The engines have been classified based on the following stated below:

  • Number of strokes
  • Design
  • Ignition method
  • Numbers of the cylinders
  • Arrangements of the cylinder
  • Types of fuel used

Based on the number of strokes

Two stroke engine: in two stroke engines, the piston move twice to produce the power stroke. That is, one stroke upward from the BDC to TDC and the other downward from the TDC to BDC.

Four stroke engine: the piston moves four times in these types of engine. That is two upward and two downward movements in a single combustion cycle.

Six stroke engine: engines with six stroke has greater advantages over two and four stroke as it increased fuel efficiency, reduced mechanical complexity and reduced emissions. These engines are divided into two groups based on the number of pistons that contribute to the six strokes.

In the single-piston designs, the engine captures the heat lost from the four-stroke m or Diesel cycle and uses it to drive an additional power and exhaust stroke of the piston in the same cylinder in an attempt to improve fuel-efficiency and assist with engine cooling.

Based on design

Reciprocating engine: reciprocating engines have one or more pistons, helping to convert pressure into a rotating motion. The pistons are placed inside the cylinders, resulting to gas combustion when fuel and air is ignited.

Wankel engine: the Wankel engine is known as rotor engine, as it coverts pressure into rotating motion. It is mostly found in racing cars, and It works using an eccentric rotary system. This type of automobile engine is more simpler, smoother and more compact. It produce more power pulses per revolution.

Diagram of internal combustion engine
Diagram of internal combustion engine

Based on ignition method

Compression ignition engine: these types of internal combustion engine does not work with spark plug, but obtain its ignition from the compressed air. Diesel engine is a good example of this engine due to the fact that its works by compressing air.

Compression ignition engine offers great advantages as it reduced parasitic load on the engine and higher thermodynamic efficiency.

Spark ignition engine: these type works with spark plug in order to ignite the compressed air-fuel mixture. Petrol engine is a good example of these types of engine as it can only run on bioethanol, methanol, hydrogen, etc.

Based on number of cylinders

Single cylinder engine: a single cylinder engine is known by its lightweight, compact, and its outstanding weight to power ratio. It consist of a single cylinder connected to the crankshaft. And it is often found on motor scooter, motorcycles, go-karts, and dirt bikes.

Double cylinder engine: just as it is being named, it consist of two cylinder, which is also connected to the crankshaft just like the single cylinder engine.

Multiple cylinder engine: these types of engine is opportune to achieve higher revolutions per minute (RPM) without struggling and offers excellent ability to neutralize imbalances. Multiple cylinder engine have more than two cylinders. It can be either three, four, six, twelve or sixteen. Good examples of this engine are either compression or spark ignition engine, 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine.

Based on the arrangements of the cylinder

Vertical engine: in these types internal combustion engine, the arrangements of the cylinders are vertical.

Horizontal engine: the cylinders are horizontally arranged

V-engine: in these types of engine, the pistons are aligned with the cylinders in two banks. It shows a V shape when viewed from the top. The purpose of the V shape is to prevent vibration and balancing issues.

W type engine: the W type engine is made for 16 and 12-cylinder engines. The cylinders are arranged in 3 rows, forming a W shape.

Opposed cylinder engine: engines with opposed cylinder have an excellent balancing and runs smoothly because the connecting rod and the piston run identically. The cylinders are placed in opposite directions.

Based on the types of fuel used

Diesel engine: diesel serves as main source of powering

Petrol engine: it uses petrol and air during the combustion cycle

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