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A Methodology for In Cylinder Flow Field Evaluation in a Low Stroke

A Methodology for In Cylinder Flow Field Evaluation in a Low Stroke

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A Methodology for In Cylinder Flow Field Evaluation in a Low Stroke
A Methodology for In Cylinder Flow Field Evaluation in a Low Stroke

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SAE TECHNICAL
PAPER SERIES
2002-01-1119
A Methodology for In-Cylinder Flow Field
Evaluation in a Low Stroke-to-Bore SI Engine
G. Cantore, S. Fontanesi and E. Mattarelli
University of Modena and Reggio E.
G. M. Bianchi
University of Bologna
Reprinted From: Modeling of SI Engines and Multi-Dimensional Engine Modeling
(SP–1702)
SAE 2002 World Congress
Detroit, Michigan
March 4-7, 2002
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2002-01-1119
A Methodology for In-Cylinder Flow Field Evaluation in a Low
Stroke-to-Bore SI Engine
G. Cantore, S. Fontanesi and E. Mattarelli
University of Modena and Reggio E.
G. M. Bianchi
University of Bologna
Copyright © 2002 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.
ABSTRACT
This paper presents a methodology for the 3D
CFD simulation of the intake and compression
processes of four stroke internal combustion engines.
The main feature of this approach is to provide very
accurate initial conditions by means of a cost-effective
initialization step. Calculations are applied to a low
stroke-to-bore SI engine, operated at full load and
maximum engine speed. It is demonstrated that initial
conditions for this kind of engines have an important
influence on flow field development, particularly in
terms of mean velocities close to the firing TDC.
Simulation results are used to discuss the
choice of a set of parameters for the flow field
characterization of low stroke-to-bore engines, as well
as to provide an insight into the flow patterns during
the overlapping period.
INTRODUCTION
The level of turbulence within the cylinder, as
well as the mean flow field, plays a fundamental role in
the combustion process of S.I. engines. Therefore, any
accurate simulation of combustion should be preceded
by the analysis of the in-cylinder flow during the intake
and compression strokes. Furthermore, the analysis of
the ‘cold ‘ flow can be very useful to address the
optimization of the intake duct and valve assembly.
The computational domain for the
multidimensional simulation of the intake and
compression stroke is generally restricted to one
cylinder, and to a portion of the intake and exhaust
pipes attached to the same cylinder. In order to keep
into account the influence of the whole system on the
single cylinder, time-varying conditions must be
applied to the boundaries. These conditions are
generally provided by 1-D simulations, previously
carried out on the whole engine. Sometimes, the
multidimensional and the 1D code are coupled, and
they run parallel, exchanging information through the
interfacing boundaries. Unfortunately, this kind of
simulation is very demanding from a computational
point of view, since more than one complete engine
cycle must be calculated by the multidimensional code
in order to reach a satisfactory cycle-by-cycle stability
[1]. Furthermore, complex phenomena such as
injection, mixing and combustion should be adequately
modelled.
Another critical issue in the CFD simulation of
the intake and compression strokes is the definition of
initial conditions. In order to include the overlapping
period, the calculation should start at Intake Valve
Opening (IVO), or just before. At this time of the
engine cycle, the flow field in the computational
domain is far from trivial, particularly in a tuned intake
manifold. Even if the intake valve is closed, the fresh
mixture does not stay still, since the duct is run through
by strong compression and expansion waves. In this
case, a 1-D simulation carried out on the whole engine
can not help very much. The 1D model of the intake
manifold is roughly simplified, particularly at the valve
port, and all the 3-D details are completely out of
reach. The same could be repeated for the exhaust
duct.
In order to give more accurate initial
conditions, one possibility could be to perform a 3D
CFD simulation of one cylinder for a few complete
engine cycles. The boundary conditions are provided
by a 1D simulation of the whole engine, while, for the
sake of simplicity, combustion is not modelled. Beside
some conceptual objections, this methodology is very
demanding, since the simulation must be performed on
the whole domain and for more than one complete
engine cycle, in order to reach a satisfactory cycle-by-
cycle stability.
The methodology proposed in this paper for
the intake and compression strokes analysis is aimed
at strongly increasing the cost-effectiveness of such
kind of simulations, by providing accurate boundary
and initial conditions and limiting the computational
demand at the same time. It is important to remark that
this methodology, although particularly suitable for
high performance engines, where ramming effects play
a fundamental role, can be applied to every kind of
engine.
The idea underlying this methodology is to
split the domain into two separate regions, the first
representing the portions of the intake and exhaust
ducts considered, the latter being the cylinder. The
simulation of the flow through a duct is relatively
simple and fast, while it is much more demanding to
manage a cylinder, the volume of which changes
widely during the calculation. Furthermore, during
intake and exhaust strokes, pressure and velocity
conditions are more uniform within the cylinder than in
the attached pipes. Then, it is convenient to calculate
the flow field in the intake and the exhaust duct by
separating them from the cylinder. Forcing time-
varying boundary conditions, (calculated by means of
a previous 1-D engine simulation) at each end of the
pipe one can get a very accurate flow field within these
pipes at any time of the cycle. The results obtained will
then be mapped into the complete computational
domain for the intake and compression strokes final
simulation.
The four valve pentroof combustion chamber
is the most widespread configuration for S.I.
homogeneous charge engines. Such a configuration is
used for both fuel efficient, low speed automotive
engines and high speed racing engines. The former
have stroke-to-bore ratio larger or equal to one, while
for the latter such a ratio can be lower than 0.5. While
for low speed engines the in-cylinder flow field has
been extensively studied [2÷8], for racing engines the
numerical and experimental approach is still not well
established. One of the most critical topics is the flow
field characterization at the end of the intake process.
It is well known that, for low specific power engines,
the mean velocity field at BDC is organized according
to clear patterns, which can be described in terms of
tumble number [9]. As the stroke-to-bore ratio
decreases, these patterns become more and more
complex. For a stroke-to-bore ratio close to 0.5, the
macro-vortex generated by the intake flow directed
toward the exhaust side is no more representative for
the flow field, since at least one other vortex, having
comparable dimension and intensity but rotating in the
opposite way, takes place within the cylinder [10÷12].
As a consequence, such kind of engines have very low
tumble numbers, sometimes negative [7]. In spite of
this, turbulence intensity is usually high enough to
provide good combustion velocity.
From all the above considerations, the
traditional tumble ratio has no meaning for engines
having ultra-low bore-to-stroke ratios. Therefore, a
further purpose of this paper is to address the
definition of more representative parameters for such
kind of engines.
Another difference between low and high bore-
to-stroke ratio engines is the intensity of the mean
velocity field in the last part of compression stroke, at
maximum engine speed. Obviously, the shorter is
stroke, the higher is top revving speed; as a
consequence, when combustion is started by the spark
plug, also mean velocities within the cylinder are
higher. Furthermore, at high engine speed, ignition
advance is usually larger than at low speed. Since
macro-vortex intensity is decreasing when
approaching top dead center, the larger the spark
advance, the higher the mean velocities will be. This
condition is not ideal for combustion, since the flame
kernel is stretched out and can be carried away from
the spark plug by the mean velocities. As a result,
combustion does not start in the center of the
chamber, and a portion of mixture can remain
unburned. Therefore, when performing CFD simulation
of low stroke-to-bore ratio engines, the residual mean
flow during the compression stroke should be carefully
controlled, particularly below the spark plug [13÷19].
In SI four stroke racing engines, high power
output is obtained by optimizing gas exchange
processes at top engine speed. The overlapping
period is particularly critical: the exhaust system
should be tuned in order to produce a suction, while
the pressure trace upstream of the intake valve should
present a deep timed with the maximum suction within
the cylinder (generally occurring close to Exhaust
Valve Closure, EVC). The tuning of the intake and
exhaust system is generally carried out with the help of
1D engine cycle simulation codes. These codes
require experimental inputs to model the flow through
the valves, in and out of cylinder. Particularly, the
instantaneous effective area of the valves must be
provided. Such values are determined by means of
simple experiments at the steady flow bench.
Unfortunately, these experiments are not able to
account for the shrouding effect generated by the
piston crown, very close to the valves during the
overlapping period. The 3D CFD simulation of the
intake stroke can be used as a powerful source of
information for assessing the influence of the piston
shrouding on the valve flow.
In this paper, the methodology mentioned
above has been applied to a low stroke-to-bore ratio
engine. Some results from an experimentally validated
1-D model of this engine have been used to provide
the boundary conditions and to assess the quality of
the initialisation results. Finally, intake and
compression strokes results have been discussed and
compared to those obtained with a simplified
approach.
FLOW FIELD INITIALISATION
All the calculations presented in this paper
have been performed by means of the CFD code
VECTIS by Ricardo Software ltd, Burr Ridge, IL.
The computational domain for the initialisation
is made up of two completely disconnected regions,
visible in figure 1. Symmetry has been invoked, and
only one half of the system has been modelled. The
intake side is on the left, the exhaust on the right. At
the intake pipe inlet, as well as at the exhaust pipe
outlet, the flow is expected to be almost one-
dimensional.
To account for the influence of the valve
motion, moving boundaries, following the valve
actuation profiles, have been applied to the valve
curtain areas. The presence of these moving domains
implies that the initial mesh is increasingly distorted, up
to a critical point. Here, the computational domain
must be refreshed by switching to a new undistorted
mesh. The operation is repeated up to the final
position. For the considered domain, the complete
valve motion has been covered with a set of 59
undistorted meshes. The VECTIS pre-processor
allows the user to semi-automatically create such a set
of meshes. Unfortunately, the mesh refreshing time
during the simulation is not known a-priori. Therefore,
a user subroutine has been implemented by the
authors in order to predict critical distortion. The
subroutine is very helpful in reducing the number of
meshes and the pre-processing time.
In order to correctly represent the wall
influence in the valve curtain region, at least four cells
have been placed along the valve axis direction, even
at the minimum lift. Therefore, a number of cells
ranging from 50000 to 120000 has been adopted,
according to the valve position. Nevertheless, to
prevent an excessive mesh distortion at very low lifts,
a minimum lift of 0.5 mm has been imposed. Valve
timing has been adjusted in order to keep the integral
of the valve curtain area equal to the actual value.
Boundary conditions, derived from a previous
1-D engine simulation have been applied in order to
take into account the effects of the whole system. This
simulation has been carried out by using the WAVE
code, by Ricardo Software.
As far as the intake duct is concerned, a time-
varying mass flow rate has been imposed at the inlet
section, while the 1-D in-cylinder pressure has been
enforced as a static pressure boundary condition for
the intake valve curtain area. It is worthwhile to remark
that simulation results can change when a different
kind of boundary conditions is applied (for example
with pressure traces forced at both ends of the pipe).
The set-up used in the paper is the best compromise,
found by the authors, between numerical stability and
accuracy.
For the exhaust duct, a different approach has
been used in order to limit the numerical and physical
difficulties associated to the sonic flow at the Exhaust
Valve Opening (EVO). The WAVE in-cylinder pressure
has been imposed on the valve curtain as a total
pressure, while a static pressure is enforced at the
exhaust duct outlet. This strategy is only partially
successful, but it should be considered that the
influence of blow-down on the intake process is not
very significant.
To reach satisfactory cyclic stability, four
complete engine cycles have been simulated, and
results in terms of local velocity and pressure traces
have been compared. It has been found that three
complete cycles should be performed before starting
the final simulation of the intake and compression
strokes. However, no relevant differences can be
noticed between cycle 2 and 3. It is worthwhile to
remark that, due to the relatively limited mesh
dimension, a complete cycle simulation runs in 16
hours on a four-processor IBM RS6000 SP3.
Figure 1: the computational domain for the
initialization
A comparison between multidimensional and
1-D results has been performed at different locations
throughout the domain, in order to assess the quality
of the flow field initialization. Figure 2 shows the
pressure traces on a cross section in the middle of the
intake duct. The 3D results correspond to a cell
located in the middle of such a cross section. As
expected, the curves agree fairly well in terms of both
waves intensity and pulse/deep timing. The differences
existing between the two trends are due to local
effects, represented in a lumped fashion by the 1-D
code. The agreement between multidimensional and
1-D simulation is still satisfactory when considering the
intake valve upstream section, figure 3, and the
exhaust valve downstream section, figure 4. A further
confirm appears in figure 5, where the mass flow rates
through the intake valves are plotted.
Finally, the flow field at the intake pipe inlet
and at the exhaust duct outlet has been analyzed.
While the flow is very uniform at the intake inlet,
velocity gradients have been observed at the exhaust
outlet. However, in this region pressure differences are
negligible.
C. A. DEG.
A
B
S
.

P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
1-D 3-D
Figure 2: Comparison between 1-D and 3-D CFD
results: pressure trace in the mid of the intake duct.
C. A. DEG.
A
B
S
.

P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
1-D 3-D
Figure 3: Comparison between 1-D and 3-D CFD
results: pressure trace upstream of the intake port.
C. A. DEG.
A
B
S
.

P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
1-D 3-D
Figure 4: Comparison between 1-D and 3-D CFD
results: pressure trace downstream the exhaust valve.
C. A. DEG.
M
A
S
S

F
L
O
W

R
A
T
E
1-D 3-D
Figure 5: Comparison between 1-D and 3-D CFD
results: mass flow rates through the intake valves.
INTAKE AND COMPRESSION STROKES CFD
SIMULATION
For the intake and compression stroke
simulation, the combustion chamber and the cylinder
volume have been added to the spatial domain. The
moving solid walls are now the valves and the piston
crown. As for the initialization, symmetry has been
invoked, and only one half of the domain has been
modeled. Due to the change in the computational
domain, a new set of 35 undistorted grids has been
defined. The angular position for mesh refreshing has
been automatically calculated by an authors
implemented subroutine, so as to prevent cell critical
distortion. The mesh dimensions are ranging from a
minimum of 60000 to a maximum of 325000 cells.
Since the map of the velocity field within the
cylinder is not available from the previous calculations,
the simulation starts at 40 c.a. degrees before IVO,
from a totally still condition within the cylinder. In this
way, before the intake valve starts to open, the in-
cylinder flow can adjust itself, fitting itself to the flow in
the exhaust duct.
As was done for the initialization, the
instantaneous mass flow rate has been assigned at
the intake duct inlet, while a static pressure trace is
forced at the exhaust duct outlet. A variable time step
has been adopted for keeping the maximum Courant
number in the optimum range, i.e. between 0.1 and 1,
throughout the entire simulation, and the convergence
criterion has been set to 1.0e-05.
The simulation runs in 32 hours on a four-
processor IBM RS6000 SP3. It should be pointed out
that a simulation carried out on the same spatial
domain and computational platform, with just 2
complete initialization cycles, would require about 135
hours.
In order to assess the physical consistency of
the simulation, a further comparison with the well
established 1-D engine model has been carried out. In
figure 6, the pressure trace upstream of the intake
valve is considered, finding a very good agreement.
Figure 7 presents the instantaneous mass flow rate
through the intake and the exhaust valve. The
differences which can be observed for the intake mass
flow rate in the first part of the intake process are due
to the shrouding effect of the piston, which can be
accounted for only in the multidimensional simulation.
Such an effect will be discussed in the following. As a
final control, the total amount of air delivered by the
cylinder during the intake stroke has been calculated.
The value predicted by the 3D CFD analysis is 3%
lower than the value found by the 1D approach,
confirming the physical soundness of the simulation.
Finally, the proposed methodology has been
compared to a simplified approach, which will be
referred to in the following text as the pseudo-stroke
one. According to this approach, the exhaust duct is
not considered and calculations start at TDC. Time-
varying boundary conditions, given by the same 1D
engine simulation, are applied at the intake duct inlet.
On the same computational platform the simplified
calculation takes about 16 hours.
C. A. DEG.
A
B
S
.

P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
1-D 3-D
Figure 6: Comparison between 1-D and 3-D CFD
results, during the intake process: pressure trace
upstream of the intake port.
C. A. DEG.
M
A
S
S

F
L
O
W

R
A
T
E
1-D Int. 3-D Int. 1-D Exh. 3-D Exh.
Figure 7: Comparison between 1-D and 3-D CFD
results, during the intake process: mass flow rates
trough the intake and the exhaust valve.
RESULTS
Computational data have been processed in
order to get an insight into the flow through the intake
assembly. In 1-D engine simulation codes, discharge
coefficients are generally used to evaluate the fluid-
dynamic efficiency of valves and port, as well as to
model the flow in and out of cylinder. Such coefficients
are experimentally determined at the steady flow
bench, according to the following expression:








Φ ⋅ ⋅ ρ ⋅
=
0
1 s
0 0 ref
d
p
p
a A
m
C

(1)
where: m is the mass flow rate;
0 0 0
, , p a ρ are the
total quantities (density, speed of sound and pressure,
respectively) at the upstream section;
1 s ref
p , A are the
geometric area and the static pressure at the
downstream section. Finally:
]
]
]
]
]

|
|
¹
|

\
|

|
|
¹
|

\
|


=
|
|
¹
|

\
|
Φ
+
γ
γ
γ
γ
1
0
1
2
0
1
0
1
1
2
p
p
p
p
p
p
s s s
(2)
The definitions above have been used to
calculate the instantaneous intake discharge
coefficients, on the basis of 3D-CFD results. Only the
flow from the intake duct toward the cylinder has been
considered. The upstream quantities (pressure,
density, speed of sound) are instantaneous values
averaged over a cross section of the intake manifold,
at about 50 mm from the valve seat. The mass flow
rate too is picked up in this section. As far as the
downstream pressure is concerned, a value averaged
on the valve curtain was assumed.
It should be pointed out that a comparison
between instantaneous and steady discharge
coefficients can be carried out only under the
hypothesis of quasi-steady flow. Unfortunately, this
hypothesis is not verified when the intake valve is
closing and strong ramming effects are taking place
upstream the valve. Therefore, the results presented in
the following include only the first part of the intake
process, i.e. with the valve lift increasing up to the
maximum height. As far as 1D engine simulation
codes are concerned, transients effects are generally
accounted for by adding a term representing the flow
inertia to the equation for steady flow.
Calculated instantaneous discharge
coefficients and their steady experimental counterparts
are compared in figure 8. In the plot, the reference
area for discharge coefficient is the inner area of the
valve seat, while lift is normalized against valve seat
diameter. It is remarkable that, exactly when the valve
is closest to the piston crown, i.e. in the middle of the
opening period, the discharge coefficient falls down.
Figure 8 confirms that, in low stroke-to-bore engines,
valve permeability is strongly influenced by the piston
crown. Finally, when the piston is far enough from the
valve, transient discharge coefficients are close to the
steady ones.
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
LIFT / VALVE SEAT DIAMETER
C
d
transient steady
Figure 8: Comparison between steady intake valve
discharge coefficients (measured at the flow bench),
and the transient discharge coefficients, calculated
during the CFD simulation of the intake stroke.

The influence of piston shrouding can be
accounted for in 1-D simulations, by entering corrected
values of valve effective area. Such a correction can
be operated by replacing the values of effective area
measured at the steady flow bench with the values
calculated during the intake stroke simulation. Figure 9
shows this correction, whose entity in terms of mean
effective area is about 16%. Running the 1-D
simulation with the corrected intake areas, the
difference with the previous simulation results is much
more limited, as visible in figures 10 and 11. Figures
10 and 11 show pressure and mass flow rate traces at
the intake valve. The intake valve shrouding seems to
produce a slight shifting of the pressure trace, and a
fall in the first part of the flow rate plot. The difference
in terms of trapped mass is 4%.
CRANK ANGLE
E
F
F
E
C
T
I
V
E

A
R
E
A
Corrected Baseline
Figure 9: Correction of intake effective area in order to
account for the shrouding effect of the piston. Input for
1-D engine simulations.
Now, an important question to be addressed
concerns the influence of modified boundary and initial
conditions on the 3D CFD simulation of the intake
process. How much will the difference in the 1D
results, shown in figures 10 and 11, change the flow
rate predicted by the 3D code ?
The answer has been found by repeating all
the 3D calculations with the new boundary conditions,
and comparing new and old results. Considering the
mass flow rate traces through the intake valve,
negligible differences have been observed. Therefore,
small variations in the boundary conditions have very
little effect on the intake process simulation results.
The opinion of the authors is that, in 3D
simulations of pulsating flows within complex
components, such as the valve assembly, point wise
flow patterns are governed more by local geometrical
details, than by boundary conditions. It should be
observed that the relevant variations in boundary
conditions occur only for a limited crank angle interval.
Furthermore, the inlet boundary is located relatively far
away from the valve assembly. Therefore, small
differences between boundary conditions are dumped
by the whole gas-dynamic system.
CRANK ANGLE
P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
Baseline Corrected
Figure 10: Influence of the effective area correction on
the pressure trace at the intake valve. Results of 1-D
engine simulations.
CRANK ANGLE
M
A
S
S

F
L
O
W

R
A
T
E
Baseline Corrected
Figure 11: Influence of the effective area correction on
the mass flow rate through the intake valve. Results of
1-D engine simulations.
The definition of a set of parameters representing the
in-cylinder flow field at BDC is a particularly difficult
task, when ultra-low stroke-to-bore engines are
considered. Figure 12 gives an idea about the
complexity of the flow patterns and can be used as a
basis for discussion. Pictures A and B show the
velocity field on two parallel planes, the symmetry
plane and the one passing through the valve axis. Also
pictures C and D present velocity on two parallel
planes, orthogonal to the symmetry plane and passing
through the cylinder axis (C) and through the intake
valve axis (D).
The in-cylinder velocity field is moulded by the
jet through the intake valve curtain, and by the
interaction between such a jet and the combustion
chamber walls and the piston crown. It is quite clear,
even only considering the bore dimension against
stroke, that there is not the faintest chance of finding
one organized flow structure extending all over the
volume. It seems indeed reasonable to split the
cylinder volume in two parts, the first including the
intake valves, and the second containing the exhaust
ones.
In the region under the intake valves, velocity vectors
are mainly oriented parallel to the symmetry plane, see
figures 12B and 12C, and two main eddies can be
recognized. The first one is generated by the intake
flow directed toward the exhaust side (referred to in
the





Figure 12: Velocity field at BDC for a low bore-to-stroke engine at top revving speed. Plots on the symmetry plane (A),
on a section parallel to the symmetry plane and containing the valve axis (B), on the plane orthogonal to the symmetry
plane including the cylinder axis (C) and on the plane orthogonal to the symmetry plane, containing the valve axis (D).

following as direct tumble), the second one is a
counter-rotating vortex created by the flux toward the
cylinder liner (referred in the following as reverse
tumble). Looking at figure 12B, under the intake valve
the former seems to be much smaller and weaker than
the latter. The situation is completely reversed when
analyzing the velocity field on the symmetry plane,
figure 12A.
Under the exhaust valves, see figure 12B, the
valve jet creates two clockwise loops, the former in the
region between intake and exhaust valves, the latter in
the corner far from the intake valve. In the same place,
but on the symmetry plane, the eddy rotational versus
is reversed.
In the central region of the chamber and under
the exhaust valves, an organized motion takes place
on planes orthogonal to the symmetry one. This eddy,
clearly visible in figure 12C, will be referred to in the
following as cross tumble.
After the examination of the velocity field
presented in figure 12, which is quite similar to others
observed by the authors, the following conclusions can
be drawn.
• The cylinder should be split into two regions, the
former under the intake and the latter under the
exhaust valves, each one governed by one or a
pair of vortexes. These main eddies, the length
scale of which is comparable to the stroke, should
be able to survive during the compression stroke,
thus acting as a source of turbulence when
combustion starts.
• In the intake region, the reverse tumble is
recognized as the main vortex
• In the exhaust region, direct tumble and cross
tumble play together the most relevant role.
For sake of simplicity, the cylinder is split by a
plane orthogonal to the symmetry plane and including
the cylinder axis. In this way, since the intake valves
are always larger than the exhaust ones, the region of
the chamber between intake and exhaust is allotted to
exhaust.
The intensity of each vortex can be quantified by
the ratio of the equivalent solid body angular velocity to
the engine rotational speed. Further details about the
equations used for these calculations are shown in
Appendix A.
In figures 13-15, the normalized values of direct
tumble, reverse tumble and cross tumble, are plotted
against crank angle during the intake and compression
strokes. All the values of tumble ratio are divided by
one reference positive number, which can not be
disclosed in the paper. The results of the complete
simulation are compared to the ones obtained from the
pseudo-stroke calculations. It can be observed that the
traces obtained from the two methodologies are quite
different during the intake stroke, especially for direct
tumble, while such differences diminish as the piston
approaches TDC. At BDC, when simulation results are
usually analyzed, the mean flow field predicted by the
complete simulation presents patterns which cannot be
found in the pseudo-stroke analysis. Thus, the
importance of a proper gas-dynamic initialization is
clearly demonstrated.
When considering absolute values of the tumble
ratios, it is interesting to observe that a relative
maximum is always reached in the second half of the
intake stroke, when the mass flow rate entering the
cylinder reaches a peak. Another maximum is
generally found in the middle of the compression
stroke, for the spinning-up effect. Only for direct tumble
in the pseudo-intake analysis such an effect does not
occur.
The comparison presented in figure 13 (direct
tumble) is particularly interesting. The value of the first
peak, predicted by the pseudo-stroke is twice the one
estimated in the complete simulation and is retarded
towards BDC. Non-negligible differences persist also
throughout the compression stroke: in the complete
simulation, tumble ratio becomes negative and has a
peak, while in the pseudo-stroke it remains positive
and decreases to a near-zero value.
As far as reverse tumble is concerned (figure 14),
complete and pseudo-stroke simulations yield quite
different results during the intake stroke. However, in
both cases the parameter is negative for almost the
whole stroke. Therefore, also under the intake valves
the flow rotational versus is concordant with the direct
tumble eddy. Such a result can be explained
considering that during the intake stroke the main
component of the flow through the intake valve curtain
is the one oriented toward the exhaust side. This jet is
abruptly deflected downward by the exhaust valve dish
and the spark plug. Then, a large eddy takes position
just under the intake valves. In the second part of the
intake stroke, a better balance is reached between the
flow rate directed toward the exhaust side and the one
oriented toward the cylinder liner. As the latter
increases, the previous eddy under the intake valve
decreases and/or is pushed toward the exhaust side.
At BDC, the value of reverse tumble is already
positive, and continues to increase at a fast rate when
intake valve is closing.
It is important to remark that at BDC, in the
complete simulation, direct and reverse tumble have
about the same value, while the cross tumble number
is lower. Then, if tumble were defined in the traditional
way, i.e. all over the cylinder and for the velocity
components parallel to the symmetry plane , its value
would be close to zero. Conversely, in the pseudo-
stroke the direct tumble is dominant, and the traditional
definition would yield a completely different number.
In figure 15 the differences between the two
methodologies in terms of predicted cross tumble are
visible only in the first half of the intake stroke.
-0.3
0
0.3
0.6
0.9
1.2
-300 -240 -180 -120 -60 0
C. A. DEG. (after firing TDC)
T
R

/

T
R
*
Complete Pseudo
Figure 13: Comparison between the methodology
proposed in the paper (referred to as complete), and a
simplified approach (referred to as pseudo) in terms of
normalized direct tumble.
-0.6
-0.3
0
0.3
0.6
0.9
-300 -240 -180 -120 -60 0
C. A. DEG. (after firing TDC)
T
R

/

T
R
*
Complete Pseudo
Figure 14: Comparison between the methodology
proposed in the paper (referred as complete), and a
simplified approach (referred as pseudo) in terms of
normalized reverse tumble.
-0.6
-0.3
0
0.3
0.6
0.9
-300 -240 -180 -120 -60 0
C. A. DEG. (after firing TDC)
T
R

/

T
R
*
Complete Pseudo
Figure 15: Comparison between the methodology
proposed in the paper (referred as complete), and a
simplified approach (referred as pseudo) in terms of
normalized cross tumble.
The final evaluation of the attitude of the mean
flow field to promote turbulence production in the last
part of compression is assessed by the ratio of
turbulence intensity to mean piston speed. In figure 16
such a ratio is plotted for both the complete simulation
and the pseudo-stroke. The two plots are similar, but
the pseudo-stroke values are slightly higher, with a
difference of 5-10%, from 100 up to 30 degrees before
TDC. In this range, it can be observed that turbulence
intensity decreases very slowly. This behavior
suggests that the main vortexes are indeed able to
sustain turbulence, thus combustion velocity. This
result is qualitatively confirmed by the experimental
values of spark advance, which, for the analyzed
engine, are almost constant in the range of high
engine speed.
Finally, figure 17 presents the values of mean
velocity, averaged on the gasket plane and normalized
against mean piston speed. This parameter is plotted
against crank angle. Results of the complete and the
pseudo-stroke simulations are compared. In this case,
the two methodologies does not yield the same output.
For the complete simulation, the gasket velocity
decreases at a constant rate up to 40 deg. before
TDC. Here, the occurrence of squish sustains the
velocity field, and a relative maximum can be observed
a few degrees later. Such a relative maximum is not
present in the pseudo-stroke plot, which does not
seem to be influenced by squish. This is another
evidence of the differences on the flow field produced
by the two methodologies. Such a difference can
become important for the combustion evolution, since
the high values of normalized average velocity suggest
that the mean flow field is strong enough to carry away
the flame kernel from the middle of the combustion
chamber. The difference between the approach
proposed in the paper and the pseudo-intake is
confirmed also by the point-wise analysis of the
velocity field at 60 deg. BTDC. According to the former
approach the velocity magnitude under the spark plug
is 34% lower than the one provided by the pseudo-
stroke simulation.
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
-100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0
C. A. DEG. (after firing TDC)
U
'

/

M
P
S
Complete Pseudo
Figure 16: Comparison between the methodology
proposed in the paper, and a simplified approach
(intake pseudo-stroke) in terms of normalized turbulent
velocity.
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
-100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0
C. A. DEG. (after firing TDC)
U
_
g
s
k

/

M
P
S
Complete Pseudo
Figure 17: Comparison between the methodology
proposed in the paper, and a simplified approach
(pseudo-stroke) in terms of normalized mean velocity,
averaged on the gasket plane.
CONCLUSION
The spatial domain for the CFD analysis of the
intake and compression processes in internal
combustion engines is usually made up of one cylinder
and a portion of the attached piping. While boundary
conditions can be easily provided by a 1D simulation
carried out on the whole engine, it is much more
difficult to create an accurate map of the initial flow
field. The methodology proposed in this paper allows
one to calculate an accurate flow field within the intake
and exhaust ducts attached to the cylinder. This is
done by forcing at the ends of the manifolds time-
varying boundary conditions, calculated by means of a
previous 1-D engine simulation. The flow field is used
as an initial condition for the simulation of the intake
and compression strokes. Such a simulation starts 40
degrees before IVO, in order to allow the in-cylinder
flow field to adjust itself, fitting the exhaust flow.
The proposed methodology has been applied
to a low stroke-to-bore engine, operated at maximum
speed and full load. The physical soundness of the 3D
CFD analysis has been assessed by comparing the
results with the ones obtained by using an
experimentally validated 1D engine model. The
agreement is satisfactory. Particularly, the difference in
terms of predicted intake delivered mass is 3%.
Comparison has been made between the
steady intake discharge coefficients, measured at the
traditional flow bench, and the instantaneous
coefficients, calculated on the base of the 3D CFD
results, during the valve opening period. The influence
of piston shrouding on intake permeability is very
strong, and it should be included in any accurate 1D
engine simulation. However, the resulting variations in
the boundary conditions for the 3D CFD analysis do
not have a relevant influence in terms of flow rate
through the valves.
A set of three parameters (direct tumble,
reverse tumble and cross tumble) is proposed for the
characterization of the flow field in low bore-to-stroke
engines. These parameters correspond to the strength
of three large eddies, which seems to be effective to
promote turbulence production in the last part of the
compression stroke.
Finally, results obtained using the proposed
methodology have been compared to those yielded by
a simplified approach (pseudo-intake). Relevant
differences have been observed in terms of predicted
mean flow field during both intake and compression
strokes. These differences are expected to condition
the development of combustion.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to acknowledge Ricardo
Software, Burr Ridge, IL, for the use of the VECTIS
code, granted to the University of Modena and Reggio
E.
The authors also wish to acknowledge Enrico
Neodo and Davide Balestrazzi for the excellent work
done during their degree theses, on which this paper is
based.
APPENDIX A
The in-cylinder flow field is often characterized
by means of various non-dimensional parameters,
such as the swirl ratio and the tumble ratio. In the
present paper, Direct Tumble ratio TR
d
, Reverse
Tumble ratio TR
r
and Cross Tumble ratio TR
c
are
defined as the ratio of an equivalent solid body angular
velocity to the engine rotational speed.

Figure 18: Tumble parameters definition
Figure 18 highlights the definition of the three
tumble ratios, as well as the domains over which they
are computed. Particularly, TR
d
is the ratio of the
angular momentum about an axis perpendicular to the
symmetry plane passing through the center of mass of
the exhaust side region of the cylinder, to that given by
solid body rotation of the region charge mass revving
at crank shaft speed about the correspondent center of
rotation (supposed coincident with the center of mass).
If ncells is the number of cells in the
considered region,
e
ω is the crank shaft rotational
speed,
i
ρ are the cell densities,
i i i
z y x , , are the
Cartesian coordinates of the generic cell centroid,
c c c
z y x , , are the Cartesian coordinates of the center
of mass, and
i i i
w v u , , are the velocity components of
the generic cell i , the numerical implementation of the
integration over the considered region becomes:
( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( ) [ ]


=
=
− + − ⋅ ⋅
− ⋅ − − ⋅ ⋅
=
ncells
i
C i C i i e
ncells
i
C i i C i i i
d
z z y y
z z v y y w
TR
1
2 2
1
ρ ω
ρ
(A1)
TR
r
is the ratio of the angular momentum
about an axis perpendicular to the symmetry plane
passing through the center of mass of the intake side
region of the cylinder, to that given by solid body
rotation of the region charge mass revving at crank
shaft speed about the correspondent center of rotation
(supposed to be coincident with the center of mass).


( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( ) [ ]


=
=
− + − ⋅ ⋅
− ⋅ − − ⋅ ⋅
=
ncells
i
C i C i i e
ncells
i
C i i C i i i
r
z z y y
y y w z z v
TR
1
2 2
1
ρ ω
ρ
(A2)
TR
c
is the ratio of the angular momentum
about an axis parallel to the symmetry plane passing
through the center of mass of the exhaust side region
of the cylinder, to that given by solid body rotation of
the region charge mass revving at crank shaft speed
about the correspondent center of rotation (supposed
coincident with the center of mass).
( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( ) [ ]


=
=
− + − ⋅ ⋅
− ⋅ − − ⋅ ⋅
=
ncells
i
C i C i i e
ncells
i
C i i C i i i
c
z z x x
x x w z z u
TR
1
2 2
1
ρ ω
ρ
(A3)
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