Car Engine

free essayCars are vehicles which are widely used in every civilized community. The history of cars incorporates a variety of changes which involve their division into types and models as well as unique design developed by car manufacturers. However, disregarding the indicated changes, all cars have at least one common and crucial feature which is the engine. Figuratively, people perceive engine as the heart of a vehicle which brings it to life and propels it. Since cars mean movement on the ground, the object which moves them deserves peculiar attention. Modern industrial trucks are able to transport thousands of pounds of cargo, whereas sport cars are able to reach hundred miles speeds in several seconds from the start. In fact, this is the result of the evolution of the construction of the engines which took decades of changes in their volume and functionality.

Nature, Purpose and Main Components of Car Engines

Any car engine is an important unit of automobile construction which has peculiar nature and purpose. In their turn, these aspects influence the main components of the engines. The first recorded use of the word “engine” to mean an electrical machine driven by a petroleum motor occurred in 1853 (Fuller, 2013). Thus, this unit describes the whole variety of devices used in order to move a car on the basis of processes which involve fuel burning or explosions. Disregarding the design of the engine , it needs four factors which create energy used for work. These factors are air, fuel to burn, ignition source in order to ignite the fuel, and compression of the air and fuel mixture which maximizes the potential of the fuel (BC Ministry of Education, 2014). That is why engineers construct engines while assuring the presence of these factors.

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Additionally, the work of engine is impossible without cooling and exhaust systems. The reason for this is that any working engine produces a great degree of heat which should be adequately dissipated, thereby preventing overheating. What is more, fuel burning leaves by-products which should be taken from the engine in order not to block its functions.

Moreover, there are critical parts of any engine which guarantee its functionality and form its entity. They are engine block, pistons, rings, connecting rods, crankshaft, cylinder heads, valves, valve train, harmonic balancers and balance shafts (Johanson, 2010). Each one of these components is critical and assures the operation of the device. For instance, the crankshaft transmits the generated power of movement to the wheels of a car. At the same time, gradually, the basic construction of the engine was changing which caused the creation of a variety of its types.

Design and Engineering Improvements

The design of engines is dependent on the engineering ideas which are directed towards the solution of concrete tasks. The most typical of them are the increase of power and fuel economy. Original engine types may be grouped into three basic types which are four-stroke, two-stroke cycled and diesel ones. The first two types require two and four strokes of the piston in order to complete a cycle. At the same time, diesels use heat and compression instead of spark plugs in order to ignite the fuel (BC Ministry of Education, 2014).

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For decades, the most used materials for the creation of engines were cast iron and aluminum alloys (George, n.d.). However, recent technologies are directed towards construction of lighter and stronger engines. This is why automotive engineers use modern magnesium alloys and compacted graphic cast iron (Nguyen, 2005). In fact, these modern alloys increase the functional capacities of the engine block making it more durable. At the same time, the size of the engine of a common car has also changed. For example, the engines of the 1980’s were becoming more powerful due to the increase of their volume which increased the size. Furthermore, modern tendencies employ ecology friendly policies which oblige manufacturers to create engines with less CO2 exhaust. In order to preserve or increase the power of their engines, some manufacturers place turbines, which drastically increase their power. For instance, Porsche 911 Turbo released in 2007 is of 3.6-liter volume, but its turbine allows it to produce 480 horsepower (Stoklosa, 2013). Consequently, the design of the engine is greatly dependent on its functionality.

Moreover, along with turbine placement, engine manufacturers experiment with various technologies which lead to the emergence of other types of motors. As a result, technically, engines may be grouped into straight, V-type, flat, rotary or rotor and diesel. The majority of the mentioned engines change the position of the valves regarding each other as well as their trajectory of movement. At the same time, rotary engines have completely different concept, which means that the crankshaft remains stationary, whereas the entire cylinder block rotates around it (Rapid-Racer, n.d.). Its benefits are that it is small and compact; however, it has less durability when compared to classic four-stroke V-type engines. In their turn, V-type engines were better for sport cars because they can be placed lower in a vehicle creating lower center of gravity (Rapid-Racer, n.d.). Consequently, one can clearly see that design, materials and technology of the production of engines has a variety which is dependent on their spheres of application.

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Personalities, Companies, Social Change and the Future

Analyzing the history of the car engines, it is impossible to omit the personalities and companies which had the impact on their capacities and design. Thus, one of the first individuals who created a concept of the engine was a French Army officer named Captain Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot known for his steam-powered engine invented in 1769 (Prabhu, n.d.). Its speed was 2 mph, and it required assistance in terms of fuel change and steam building capacities. The top of the evolution of the steam engine was in the US in 1906, when Stanley Steamer was a person to set a world land speed record in 1906 of 121.573 mph (Prabhu, n.d.). By that time, there were more than 120 types of such engines; however, all of them were no match for an internal combustion engine. These engines started their development from 1860, when a French inventor Jean-Joseph-Étienne Lenoir invented a one-cylinder engine which utilized kerosene as fuel (Prabhu, n.d.). Several years later, two- and four-stroke engines were designed.

The last one created by a German engineer Nikolaus August Otto in 1876, is the closest relative to modern motors (Prabhu, n d.). The surnames of other creators of engines are more familiar because they have established one of the most prospective automobile concerns. They are Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Karl Benz, Armand Peugeot and Henry Ford. These engineers introduced a lot of innovations which allowed engines to be lighter, more powerful, dissipate heat, work on petroleum and have increased power. Consequently, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Ford are one of the most influential automobile companies in terms of engine innovations.

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Furthermore, one should notice that the progress of the design of engines have greatly influenced the society. The increased power of vehicles allows transporting different cargos and materials on long distances. Along with that, people may travel fast and safely making long journeys in comfort vehicles. These aspects have boosted the economic and social processes due to the fact that various businesses use the benefits of powerful engines in cars. Moreover, originally steam-powered, weak and large engines transformed into powerful, compact and petroleum propelled, which is the subject of admiration of car fans. Along with that, engineers still develop these devices which can be demonstrated by BMW’s hybrid hydrogen propelled motors (Meiners, 2015) or Tesla Motors’ electric-powered ones (Tesla Motors, 2016). Consequently, possible future engines would work on ecologically safe and powerful fuel, which would make them more compact and powerful. Therefore, a car engine is one of the most impressive and influential inventions of the human mind.

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Conclusion

Summarizing the presented information, one comes to a conclusion that modern engines have a long history of development and modifications. Beginning from steam-powered ones, they gradually transformed into internal combustion motors, which boosted their power and durability characteristics. Moreover, the innovations in the design such as the creation of rotor and V-type engines allowed them to increase their power when being compact and light. Additionally, the progress in materials gave engineers the possibility to create contemporary motors of light and strong alloys. As a result, their durability and efficacy increases. Numerous people and companies influenced the historic progress of engines. Among them were Ford, Benz, Peugeot and others, who later created famous automobile companies. At the same time, modern automobile industry is still developing, which means that engineers develop better motors. Among such technologies are electric propelled engines by Tesla and hydrogen propelled ones by BMW. These innovations change ordinary lives of people and the society overall because people may perform long and safe trips or reach different locations faster. Therefore, a car engine is one of the most crucial inventions in the history of modern civilization.