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Crankshaft (red), pistons (gray) in their cylinders (blue), and flywheel (black) The crankshaft, sometimes casually abbreviated to crank, is the part of an engine which translates reciprocating linear piston motion into rotation. To convert the reciprocating motion into rotation, the crankshaft has "crank throws" or "crankpins", additional bearing surfaces whose axis is offset from that of the crank, to which the "big ends" of the connecting rods from each cylinder attach. It typically connects to a flywheel, to reduce the pulsation characteristic of the fourstroke cycle, and sometimes a torsional or vibrational damper at the opposite end, to reduce the torsion vibrations often caused along the length of the crankshaft by the cylinders farthest from the output end acting on the torsional elasticity of the metal.
1 History o 1.1 Western World 1.1.1 Classical Antiquity 1.1.2 Middle Ages 1.1.3 Renaissance o 1.2 Middle and Far East 2 Design o 2.1 Bearings o 2.2 Piston stroke o 2.3 Engine configuration o 2.4 Engine balance o 2.5 Rotary engines 3 Construction o 3.1 Forging and casting o 3.2 Machining
cranks. and Ephesus.4 Hardening 3. the earliest known machine to combine a crank with a connecting rod. The right handle is lost. Switzerland.• • • • • 3. for a crank and connecting rod in a machine appears in the late Roman Hierapolis sawmill from the 3rd century AD and two Roman stone sawmills at Gerasa. The earliest evidence. the other handle being lost. The accompanying inscription is in Greek. The crank and connecting rod mechanisms of the other two archaeologically attested sawmills worked without a gear train.5 Counterweights 4 Stress on crankshafts 5 See also 6 References 7 Sources o o o 8 External links  History  Western World  Classical Antiquity See also: Roman technology and List of Roman watermills Roman crankshaft dated to the 2nd century AD. through mechanical necessity. we find a reference to . On the pediment of the Hierapolis mill. In ancient literature. A Roman iron crankshaft of yet unknown purpose dating to the 2nd century AD was excavated in Augusta Raurica. Asia Minor (both 6th century AD). The 82. anywhere in the world.3 Fatigue strength 3.5 cm long piece has fitted to one end a 15 cm long bronze handle. Roman Syria. Roman Hierapolis sawmill from the 3rd century AD. a waterwheel fed by a mill race is shown powering via a gear train two frame saws which cut rectangular blocks by the way of some kind of connecting rods and.
appeared later in the 15th century. The three finds push back the date of the invention of the crank and connecting rod back by a full millennium. for the first time. The rapid adoption of the compound crank can be traced in the works of the Anonymous of the Hussite Wars. an unknown German engineer writing on the state of the military technology of his . demonstrating a diversified use of water-power in many parts of the Roman Empire. about the same time. by the late 4th century poet Ausonius. all essential components of the much later steam engine were assembled by one technological culture: With the crank and connecting rod system. all elements for constructing a steam engine (invented in 1712) — Hero's aeolipile (generating steam power). made illustrations for a paddle boat and war carriages that were propelled by manually turned compound cranks and gear wheels (center of image). the cylinder and piston (in metal force pumps). these mill types seem also to be indicated by the Christian saint Gregory of Nyssa from Anatolia. describes a grindstone which was rotated by two cranks. gearing (in water mills and clocks) — were known in Roman times. the geared hand-mill.the workings of water-powered marble saws close to Trier. non-return valves (in water pumps). dating to around 1340. The Luttrell Psalter.  Middle Ages See also: Medieval technology Vigevano's war carriage The Italian physician Guido da Vigevano (c. operated either with one or two cranks. now Germany.  Renaissance See also: Renaissance technology 15th century paddle-wheel boat whose paddles are turned by single-throw crankshafts (Anonymous of the Hussite Wars) The first depictions of the compound crank in the carpenter's brace appear between 1420 and 1430 in various northern European artwork. planning for a new crusade. one at each end of its axle. 1280−1349).
His wind-powered sawmill used a crankshaft to convert a windmill's circular motion into a back-and-forward motion powering the saw. second. Corneliszoon was granted a patent for his crankshaft in 1597. Water-raising pump powered by crank and connecting rod mechanism (Georg Andreas Böckler.day: first. one third of the total. From the 16th century onwards. 1405). In China. Crankshafts were also described by Konrad Kyeser (d. but the device is still mechanically misunderstood. double compound cranks also began to be equipped with connecting-rods and third. an idea also taken up by his compatriot Francesco di Giorgio. the connecting-rod. the earliest evidence of a compound crank and connecting-rod is found in the sketch books of Taccola. who devised a boat with five sets. where the parallel cranks are all joined to a single power source by one connecting-rod. reappeared. A sound grasp of the crank motion involved demonstrates a little later Pisanello who painted a piston-pump driven by a water-wheel and operated by two simple cranks and two connecting-rods. In Renaissance Italy. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) and a Dutch "farmer" by the name Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgeest in 1592. evidence of cranks and connecting rods integrated into machine design becomes abundant in the technological treatises of the period: Agostino Ramelli's The Diverse and Artifactitious Machines of 1588 alone depicts eighteen examples. His twin-cylinder pump incorporated a crankshaft. 1661) One of the drawings of the Anonymous of the Hussite Wars shows a boat with a pair of paddle-wheels at each end turned by men operating compound cranks (see above). The concept was much improved by the Italian Roberto Valturio in 1463. the flywheel was employed for these cranks to get them over the 'dead-spot'. a number which rises in the Theatrum Machinarum Novum by Georg Andreas Böckler to 45 different machines. but the device was unnecessarily complex indicating that he still did not fully understand the concept of power conversion. the potential of the . applied to cranks.  Middle and Far East Al-Jazari (1136–1206) described a crank and connecting rod system in a rotating machine in two of his water-raising machines.
it must be supported by several such bearings. limiting the high speed capability of the engine.  Piston stroke The distance the axis of the crank throws from the axis of the crankshaft determines the piston stroke measurement. As the crankshaft undergoes a great deal of sideways load from each cylinder in a multicylinder engine. four stroke cycle." This also increases the reciprocating vibration. and the crank was typically absent from such machines until the turn of the 20th century. simplifying crankshaft design. and thus engine displacement. This engine can also be built with no riveted seam. (V) Valves. it improves the low speed . (E) Exhaust camshaft. This was a factor in the rise of V8 engines. (R) Connecting rod.  Design Components of a typical.  Bearings The crankshaft has a linear axis about which it rotates. with their shorter crankshafts. Many small engines. Large engines are usually multicylinder to reduce pulsations from individual firing strokes. High performance engines often have more main bearings than their lower performance cousins for this reason. in preference to straight-8 engines. (I) Intake camshaft. (P) Piston. (W) Water jacket for coolant flow. (S) Spark plug. not just one at each end. The long crankshafts of the latter suffered from an unacceptable amount of flex when engine designers began using higher compression ratios and higher rotational speeds.crank of converting circular motion into reciprocal one never seems to have been fully realized. A common way to increase the low-speed torque of an engine is to increase the stroke. (C) Crankshaft. such as those found in mopeds or garden machinery. typically with several bearing journals riding on replaceable bearings (the main bearings) held in the engine block. with more than one piston attached to a complex crankshaft. DOHC piston engine. sometimes known as "shaft-stroking. are single cylinder and use only a single piston. however. In compensation.
in that the stroke is longer than the diameter of the cylinder bore. Rotary engines such as the Wankel engine are referred to as pistonless rotary engines. in older days sometimes derived by using six cylinders of a V8 engine with what is basically a shortened version of the V8 crankshaft. as the longer intake stroke through smaller valve(s) results in greater turbulence and mixing of the intake charge. While production V8 engines use four crank throws spaced 90° apart. As such. higher-pitched sound than cross-plane (for example. can be made to provide evenly spaced power pulses by using a crankshaft with an individual crank throw for each cylinder. finding the proper balance between shaft-stroking speed and length will lead to better results. These are typically cast as part of the crankshaft but. the rotors drive the eccentric shaft. IRL IndyCar Series compared to NASCAR Nextel Cup. produces an engine with an inherent pulsation in the power flow due to the "missing" two cylinders. For this reason. are bolt-on pieces. spaced so that the pistons are actually phased 120° apart. even such high speed production engines as current Honda engines are classified as "under square" or long-stroke.  Rotary engines Many early aircraft engines (and a few in other applications) had the crankshaft fixed to the airframe and instead the cylinders rotated. known as a rotary engine design. occasionally. also called a rotary engine. In the Wankel engine.  Construction . as in the GM 3800 engine. the 90° V6 engine configuration.  Engine balance For some engines it is necessary to provide counterweights for the reciprocating mass of each piston and connecting rod to improve engine balance. it provides a smoother running engine and allows higher RPMs to be reached. high-performance V8 engines often use a "flat" crankshaft with throws spaced 180° apart.operation of the engine. See the main article on crossplane crankshafts. however. or a Ferrari 355 compared to a Chevrolet Corvette). While counter weights add a considerable amount of weight to the crankshaft. which could be considered the equivalent of the crankshaft in a piston engine. to alter the firing order. The same basic engine block can be used with different crankshafts.  Engine configuration The configuration and number of pistons in relation to each other and the crank leads to straight. for instance. The same engine. however. The difference can be heard as the flat-plane crankshafts result in the engine having a smoother. V or flat engines.
Continental engine marine crankshafts. The low alloy content also makes the material cheaper than high alloy steels. 1942 Crankshafts can be monolithic (made in a single piece) or assembled from several pieces. Iron crankshafts are today mostly found in cheaper production engines (such as those found in the Ford Focus diesel engines) where the loads are lower. However. this is usually not a problem since higher quality steels which normally are difficult to forge can be used. Some engines also use cast iron crankshafts for low output versions while the more expensive high output version use forged steel. the high material cost and the additional heat treatment required. Even though the fiber flow (local inhomogeneities of the material's chemical composition generated during casting) doesn’t follow the shape of the crankshaft (which is undesirable).  Forging and casting Crankshafts can be forged from a steel bar usually through roll forging or cast in ductile steel. .  Machining Crankshafts can also be machined out of a billet. Monolithic crankshafts are most common. often using a bar of high quality vacuum remelted steel. These crankshafts tend to be very expensive due to the large amount of material removal which needs to be done by using lathes and milling machines. with exception to the surface hardening of the bearing surfaces. Carbon steels are also used. since no expensive tooling is required. Today more and more manufacturers tend to favor the use of forged crankshafts due to their lighter weight. but these require additional heat treatment to reach the desired properties. but some smaller and larger engines use assembled crankshafts. With forged crankshafts. vanadium microalloyed steels are mostly used as these steels can be air cooled after reaching high strengths without additional heat treatment. more compact dimensions and better inherent dampening.
tend to use nitridization instead.this production method allows small production runs of crankshafts to be made without high costs. Firstly. and in addition it puts certain demands on the alloying metals in the steel. it produces a very hard surface and the process will leave some compressive residual stress in the surface which is good for the fatigue properties of the crankshaft. But high performance crankshafts. failure may occur at the position of maximum bending. the use of carburization tends to be favored due to the high Hertzian contact stresses in such an application. this also leaves some compressive residual stress in the surface which prevents cracks from forming. It also allows the crankshaft to be reground without having to redo the hardening.  Hardening Most production crankshafts use induction hardened bearing surfaces since that method gives good results with low costs. The pressure at this position is the maximal pressure. but only a fraction of maximal pressure. Like nitriding.  Stress on crankshafts The shaft is subjected to various forces but generally needs to be analysed in two positions. such as annealing. this may be at the centre of the crank or at either end. The radius itself reduces the stress in these critical areas. the crank may fail due to twisting. In such a condition the failure is due to bending and the pressure in the cylinder is maximal. With crankshafts that operate on roller bearings. in order to be able to create stable nitrides.  See also Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Crankshaft . Second. high performance crankshafts also use heavy-metal counterweights to make the crankshaft more compact.  Fatigue strength The fatigue strength of crankshafts is usually increased by using a radius at the ends of each main and crankpin bearing. but since the radii in most cases are rolled. so the conrod needs to be checked for shear at the position of maximal twisting. The low temperature during treatment is advantageous in that it doesn’t have any negative effects on the steel. but compared with tungsten its density is much lower. carburization also leaves some compressive residual stresses in the surface. A cheaper option is to use lead. The heavy-metal used is most often a tungsten alloy but depleted uranium has also been used. The advantage with nitridization is that it can be done at low temperatures. billet crankshafts in particular. Nitridization is slower and thereby more costly.  Counterweights Some expensive.
Grewe & Kessener 2007. ^ White. saw. however. Jr. balanced crankshaft in 1916 allowed higher RPM & more power Camshaft Cam  References 1. 11. 74 ^ Hall 1979. and Technology. 7. pp. Jr. Jr. ^ Sally Ganchy. Sarah Gancher (2009). 104: Yet a student of the Chinese technology of the early twentieth century remarks that even a generation ago the Chinese had not 'reached that stage where continuous rotary motion is substituted for reciprocating motion in technical contrivances such as the drill. 111 ^ White. 14. 18. Medicine. p. 172 16. p. 6. pp. ^ Ritti. 4. The crank in its simple rudimentary form we find in the [modern] Chinese windlass. p. 161: Because of the findings at Ephesus and Gerasa the invention of the crank and connecting rod system has had to be redated from the 13th to the 6th c. 1962. 56. 1962. fn. 10. ISBN 1435850661 17. Grewe & Kessener 2007. p. 149–153 ^ Mangartz 2010 ^ Wilson 2002. 113 ^ White. ^ White. 1962. 1962. p. 156. now the Hierapolis relief takes it back another three centuries. 170: However. 51–52. the housing that surrounds the crankshaft Bicycle crankset Crank (mechanism) Brace (tool) Controlled Combustion Engine Piston motion equations Hudson Motor Car Company. 12. lathe. p. 112 ^ a b c White. 3. 13. The Rosen Publishing Group. 113f. pp. Jr. has apparently not given the impulse to change . 41. 2. 9. ^ White. 5. fig. 15. Jr. p. 42 ^ a b c d Ritti. 16 ^ Ritti. which use of the device. etc. To take this step familiarity with the crank is necessary. Grewe & Kessener 2007. 139–141 ^ Ritti. 114 ^ a b Ahmad Y Hassan. p. Islam and Science. p. The Crank-Connecting Rod System in a Continuously Rotating Machine. p. Jr. which confirms that waterpowered stone saw mills were indeed in use when Ausonius wrote his Mosella. 8. p.• • • • • • • • • Crankcase. 80 ^ White. p. ^ Laur-Belart 1988. 1962. Jr. 1962. Grewe & Kessener 2007. p. ^ a b Schiöler 2009. 1962. that al-Jazari did not entirely grasp the meaning of the crank for joining reciprocating with rotary motion is shown by his extraordinarily complex pump powered through a cog-wheel mounted eccentrically on its axle.
429–454. Journal of Roman Archaeology 20: 138–163 Schiöler. Grewe. 86. Wiesbaden: Dr.de/Text/BAUTECHNIK%20IM %20ANTIKEN%20UND. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. An Illustrated History. Führer durch Augusta Raurica (5th ed.pdf v · d · eReciprocating engines and configurations Bourke · Controlled combustion · Deltic · Orbital · Piston · Type Pistonless (Wankel) · Radial · Rotary · Single · Split cycle · Stelzer · Tschudi Stroke cycles Engine configurations Two-stroke cycle · Four-stroke cycle · Six-stroke cycle Inline or straight I2 · I3 · I4 · I5 · I6 · I7 · I8 · I9 · I10 · I12 · I14 FlatF2 · F4 · F6 · F8 · F12 · F16 . Jr. Medieval Technology and Social Change.reciprocating into circular motion in other contrivances'.. Thorkild (2009). Hill. Tullia. Martin (in German). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-975-807223-1. "Die Reliefdarstellung einer antiken Steinsägemaschine aus Hierapolis in Phrygien und ihre Bedeutung für die Technikgeschichte. Istanbul: Ege Yayınları/Zero Prod. ISBN 0-521-422396 Laur-Belart. its explosive potential for applied mechanics being unrecognized and unexploited. Lynn (1962). Fritz (2010). Baubefund. in Bachmann. "Die Kurbelwelle von Augst und die römische Steinsägemühle". Oxford: At the Clarendon Press Ritti. ISBN 978-3-88467-149-8 White. pp. (1979). Bert S. Internationale Konferenz 13. Augst Mangartz. Paul (2007). Juni 2007 in Istanbul". Klaus (2009). In China the crank was known. Donald R. Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum. Helvetia Archaeologica 40 (159/160): 113–124 Wilson.freundeskreis-roemerkanal. ISBN 3-920153-93-6 al-Hassan. Andrew (2002). but remained dormant for at least nineteen centuries.. Ahmad Y.). Monographs of the RGZM. Ltd. Power and the Ancient Economy". Byzas. The Technological Illustrations of the So-Called "Anonymous of the Hussite Wars". Bautechnik im antiken und vorantiken Kleinasien. (1992). Rudolf (1988). Part 1.  Sources • • • • • • • • Hall. "A Relief of a Waterpowered Stone Saw Mill on a Sarcophagus at Hierapolis and its Implications". Klaus. Die byzantinische Steinsäge von Ephesos. Architekturteile. "Machines. The Journal of Roman Studies 92: 1–32  External links • Grewe. http://www. Rekonstruktion. 9. Kessener.−16. Islamic Technology. Codex Latinus Monacensis 197..
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