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by Frank DeLuca

HISTORY OF FUEL INJECTION

By FRANK DeLUCA, Chief Fuel Injection Engineer, of American Bosch Arma Corporation

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by Frank DeLuca

History of Fuel Injection

When Rudolph Diesel contracted with Augsburg and Krupp of G e r m a n y in 1893 to develop a m o r e efficient i n t e r n a l combustion engine, one of his objectives was to u s e a s fuel the mountainous piles of p o w d e r e d c o a l which had been accumulating throughout the c o u n t r y s i d e . The f i r s t experimental c o a l dust burning engine was built that y e a r using a i r to b l a s t the fuel into the combustion c h a m b e r . His method i s shown s c h e m a t i c a l l y in F i g . 1, which was r e p r o duced f r o m U . S. patent No. 542846 granted in 1895. The powdered coal was contained in hopper B provided with r o t a r y valve D, and the c o m p r e s s e d a i r was s t o r e d in tank A. When the injection valve E was lifted, the high p r e s s u r e a i r flowed into the combustion c h a m b e r C through orifice F c a r r y i n g with i t the coal d i s c h a r g e d through the rotating valve F. In attempting to s t a r t the engine i t exploded, and a l l subsequent efforts to o p e r a t e the engine on coal dust failed, s o that oil was finally adopted a s the fuel. In the f i r s t e x p e r i m e n t s with oil, i t was mechanically injected into the engine. The r e s u l t s w e r e u n s a t i s f a c t o r y , probably because of the c r u d e injection equipment with l a r g e dead fuel volume, s o that D r . Diesel r e s o r t e d t o using the c o m p r e s s e d a i r equipment available f r o m his c o a l dust e x p e r i m e n t s . His f i r s t t e s t s with a i r injection proved s o s u c c e s s f u l that this b e c a m e the acccepted method of injection f o r many y e a r s . Thus, e a r l y in the development of this new engine the i m p o r t a n c e of the f u e l injection p r o c e s s on engine combustion was emphasized, and subsequent p r o g r e s s in d i e s e l engine development has been l a r g e l y dependent upon i m p r o v e m e n t s in fuel injection.
Fig. 1. Coal dust injection system of Rudolph Diesel. (After U.S. patent No. 54286 of 1895 .)

The operating principle of m o s t a i r injection s y s t e m s has been s i m i l a r to the one f i r s t used by Rudolph Diesel. F u e l oil was m e t e r e d and d e l i v e r e d by a pump to the a t o m i z e r , which was in communication with a high p r e s s u r e a i r s t o r a g e tank supplied by an a i r c o m p r e s s o r , and injection o c c u r r e d when the i n j e c t o r valve was opened by a c a m actuated m e c h a n i s m . High p r e s s u r e a i r then flowed into the engine cylinder c a r r y i n g along with i t the m e t e r e d fuel a s a finely atomized s p r a y . The construction of D i e s e l ' s fuel a t o m i z e r has not been fully e s t a b l i s h e d , but m o s t of the e a r l y designs of a t o m i z e r s had a s e r i e s of 1 8 inch d i a m e t e r holes through which the a i r and fuel p a s s e d before entering the combustion c h a m b e r . The p e r f o r a t e d disc a t o m i z e r , shown in F i g . 2 ( s e e following page), c a m e into u s e about the y e a r 1900. It c o n s i s t e d of a mechanically o p e r a t e d valve surrounded by a s t a c k of d r i l l e d d i s c s , o r p u l v e r i z e r r i n g s , o n

A I R I N J ECTION

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History of Fuel Injection

by Frank DeLuca

w h i c h t h e oil was deposited and t h e n blown b y c o m p r e s s e d a i r into t h e e n g i n e c y l i n d e r d u r i n g injection. In 1908 K n u t H e s s e l m a n of Sweden d i s c l o s e d a n a s p i r a t i n g v a l v e a t o m i z e r w i c h b e c a m e popular f o r s m a l l a i r i n j e c t i o n e n g i n e s . As shown in Fig.3, the metered o i l w a s d e p o s i t e d

Fig. 2. Perforated d i s c atomizer.

scheme f a i l e d because the exhaust temperat u r e s w e r e not h i g h e n o u g h to develop the required steam pressure f o r i n j e c t i o n with the exhaust heated boiler.

in an annular s p a c e above t h e valve seat, and w h e n t h e v a l v e w a s lifted an aspirating e f f e c t w a s p r o d u c e d on t h e o i l to d i s c h a r g e i t along w i t h t h e a i r flowing p a s t into the combustion c h a m b e r . Numerous o t h e r variations of atomizer d e s i g n s w e r e t r i e d , but w i t h l i t t l e o r n o c o m m e r c i a l s u c c e s s . T h e e a r l y K r u p p e n g i n e s used s i n g l e stage a i r c o m p r e s s o r s , a n d i t w a s n o t until a f t e r the t u r n of t h e c e n t u r y t h a t t h r e e - s t a g e c o m p r e s s o r s w e r e i n t r o d u c e d on e n g i n e s built by t h e D i e s e l M o t o r Company of America. Steam f o r fuel injection was attempted by T h o r n y c r o f t of England in 1903, but the

SOLID INJECTION
One of the first satisfactory airless injection system was applied to an engine i n 1910 b y J a m e s M c K e c h n i e of V i c k e r s , L t d . of E n g l a n d . A s s h o w n i n F i g . 4 ( s e e following p a g e ) , o i l w a s d e l i v e r e d b y a metering p u m p to a s p r i n g l o a d e d plunger, w h i c h w a s r a i s e d b y a cam. T r i p p i n g of t h e c a m a l l o w e d t h e fuel to be injected into the engine cylinder as t h e s p r i n g returned the p l u n g e r t o i t s bottom p o s i t i o n .

Common R a i l I n 1913 V i c k e r s , Ltd. developed t h e c o m m o n rail system which became v e r y Fig. 3. Aspirating valve atomizer of K. Hesselman. p o p u l a r . A m u l t i - p l u n g e r pump d e l i v e r e d (After U.S. patent No. 910534 of 1909.) fuel to a n a c c u m u l a t o r and h e a d e r of l a r g e c a p a c i t y w i t h t h e fuel pressure m a i n t a i n e d a t about 5 0 0 0 p s i b y a r e l i e f v a l v e , and t h e f u e l w a s s p r a y e d i n t o t h e e n g i n e c y l i n d e r s t h r o u g h m e c h a n i c a l l y o p e r a t e d injection n o z z l e s . Fuel m e t e r i n g w a s c o n t r o l l e d by v a r y i n g t h e period o f opening of t h e i n j e c t i o n valves. T h e first A m e r i c a n engine w i t h c o m m o n rail i n j e c t i o n s y s t e m w a s b u i l t by t h e A t l a s I m p e r i a l D i e s e l C o m p a n y of Oakland, C a l i f o r n i a i n 1919.

J e r k Pumps T h e o r i g i n a t o r of p l u n g e r pumps for f o r c i n g a m e t e r e d quantity of fuel at h i g h p r e s s u r e i n t o t h e e n g i n e c y l i n d e r s is difficult t o t r a c e . R i c h a r d H o r n s b y & S o n s o f E n g l a n d u s e d j e r k p u m p s i n 1891 and Ruston, P r o c t o r & C o . , a l s o of E n g l a n d , u s e d a similar type pump i n 1 9 0 9 . I n 1 9 1 4 D e L a V e r g n e C o m p a n y o f Philadelphia used a j e r k p u m p t h a t d e l i v e r e d f u e l at a v e r y h i g h r a t e (full l o a d d e l i v e r y i n a b o u t 1 2 c r a n k s h a f t d e g r e e s ) t o two s i n g l e h o l e , s w i r l t y p e n o z z l e s l o c a t e d o p p o s i t e e a c h o t h e r in t h e combustion c h a m b e r .

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History of Fuel Injection

by Frank DeLuca

INJECTION PUMPS
The one feature common to a l l injection pumps from the earliest to the present has been the use of p l u n g e r s to c r e a t e the required i n j e c t i o n p r e s s u r e . E a r l y pumps relied upon packed glands to m i n i m i z e t h e l e a k a g e of high pressure fuel past the plunger. The e a r l i e s t

Fig. 4. The McKechnie solid injection system

reference to close f i t t i n g o f t h e p l u n g e r a n d b a r r e l f o r e l i m i n a t i o n o f t h e p a c k i n g g l a n d a p p e a r s in a patent f i l e d i n 1 9 1 2 b y O t t o F . P e r s s o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . I n 1 9 1 9 P h i l i p L . S c o t t , also an American, described a method of fitting a plunger to a barrel with an estimated

clearance of 0.0001 inch.


Metering Methods The earliest known method for v a r y i n g the f u e l q u a n t i t y d e l i v e r e d by a p u m p was to vary the p l u n g e r s t r o k e . A n A m e r i c a n , J o h n F . Holland, o b t a i n e d patent N o . 3 3 7 , 0 0 0 in 1 8 8 6 on an a r r a n g e m e n t f o r s l i d i n g a c a m s h a f t w i t h t a p e r e d c a m s to v a r y the p u m p stroke. A n o t h e r early m e t h o d of metering control was by m e a n s o f a s p i l l valve. I n 1 9 0 0 U . S . p a t e n t N o . 654,140 was g r a n t e d to Rudolph D i e s e l for a w e d g e c o n t r o l l e d s p i l l valve p u m p as shown in F i g . 5. The duration of the plunger stroke during wich the by-pass valve D was closed was lenghtened or reduced by moving the wedge K in or out, thus increasing or decreasing the fuel quantity delivered by the pump. Fuel metering control by means of a helix on plunger was introduced by Carl Pieper of

a variation of the P o r t c l o s u r e t i m e w a s e f f e c t e d t o change the fuel quantity delivered by the pump. E n g l i s h patent No. 9403 was granted to William H. Scott in 1895 for a double port helix control for varying both the beginning and ending of injection.

Fig. 5. R . Diesel's metering pump with spill valve controlled by a wedge . (After U.S. patent No.654140 of 1 0 ) 90

Germany in 1892. According to his German patent No.66,057 and as shown in Fig. 6 (see following page), a suction port was controlled by a top beveled plunger, and by rotating the plunger

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History of Fuel Injection

by Frank DeLuca

Control o f t h e f u e l quantity b y s u c t i o n v a l v e t i m i n g w a s q u i t e p o p u l a r f o r e a r l y injection pumps. It was introduced by Imanuel Lanster of Germany in 1902. According to his U.S. p a t e n t N o . 729,613 issued in 1903, a g o v e r n o r controlled linkage connected t o the p u m p i n g . p l u n g e r w o u l d h o l d t h e spring loaded s uction v a l v e o p e n f o r a l o n g e r o r s h o r t e r t i m e t o decrease or increase the quantity of fuel injected.
Distributor Pumps I n 1 9 1 4 B r i t i s h p a t e n t No. 15,962 w a s granted to Francois Feyens of Belgium for an i n j e c t i o n s y s t e m u s i n g a r o t a r y distributor t o d e l i v e r m e t e r e d f u e l t o the s e v e r a l c y l i n d e r s o f a m u l t i - c y l i n d e r engine. As s h o w n i n F i g . 7, fuel a t a r e g u l a t e d h i g h pressure w a s d e l i v e r e d to c h a m b e r A f r o m w h i c h i t f l o w e d into the tapered slot B of the cylindrical d i s t r i b u t o r C. A s the d i s t r i b u t o r rotated i n s y n c h r o n i s m w i t h t h e engine c r a n k s h a f t , f ue w a s d i s t r i b u t e d to t h e v a r i o u s o u t l e t s D b y m e a n s o f s l o t B uncovering the d u c t s E . T h e f u e l q u a n t i t y w a s i n c r e a s e d o r d e c r e a s e d by l o w e r i n g or r a i s i n g t h e d i s t r i b u t o r t o v a r y the e f f e c t i v e width o f s l o t B . T h e B r i t i s h m o t o r ship "Selandia," launched in 1913, used a distributor type injection system on its f i r s t
voyage to the F a r East.

Fig. 6 . Pump with plunger helix control. ( After Carl Pieper's German patent No. 66057 of 1892.)

Delivery Valves O n e of the p r o b l e m s e n c o u n t e r e d with e a r l y jerk pump injection system was the dripping or after injection of fuel following the m a i n discharge. S i n c e this resulted in smoke, increased fuel consumption, and nozzle carb o n i z a t i o n , n u m e r o u s attempts were made t o vent the discharge tubings between injections. In 1910 an American, Herbert Kempton, proposed a delivery valve having a hole i n it through which the high pressure fuel was rel i e v e d when the plunger returned on its downward stroke. The first suggestion to u s e a collar on the delivery valve to r e t r a c t part o f the fuel from the discharge tubing was made by Karl Steinbecker in Germany in 1913, and
Fig. 7.

in 1917. In 1920 V a n Amstell of Holland described a non- return valve having a cylindrical piston directly below the valve seat to withdraw a portion of the Liquid before the valve seated.
In 1924 Axel Danielson of the Atlas Diesel Company o f S weden introduced a retraction type delivery valve for which he was granted U.S. patent No. 1,589,515 in 1926. It embodied t h e o n e f e a t u r e h i s predecessors h a d b e e n s t r i v i n g f o r : a u t o m a t i c p r e s s u r e r e l i e f o f t h e d i s c h a r g e tubing i m m e d i a t e l y after t h e e n d p u m p d i s c h a r g e u n d e r a l l c o n d i t i o n s . A s s h o w n i n F i g . 8 ( s e e f o l l o w i n g p a g e ) , t h e valve h a d a c l o s e f i t t i n g p i s t o n b e n e a t h i t s s e a t , s o t h a t t h e l o w e r e d g e o f t h e p i s t o n effected a s e a l a s i t e n t e r e d t h e b o r e o n t h e r e s e a t i n g of t h e v a l v e . T h e e f f e c t i v e r e t r a c t i o n w a s t h e v o l u m e d i s p l a c e d f r o m t h e l o w e r edge o f t h e p i s t o n t o t h e tapered seat of the valve.

Rotary distributor metering device. (After Francois Feyens' British patent No. 159962 of 1914.

he was g r a n t e d U . S . p a t e n t N o . 1 , 2 3 5 , 6 1 1 O n i t

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History of Fuel Injection

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The duplex delivery valve was first proposed b y E u g e n e T a r t r a i s o f F r a n c e i n 1 9 2 1 , a n d he w a s g r a n t e d U . S . p a t e n t N o . 1, 4 9 2 , 1 1 1 o n i t i n 1 9 2 4 . I t c o n s i s t e d o f a small valve inside of the main valve and o p e n i n g in t h e o p p o s i t e d i r e c t i o n . T h u s , when fuel delivery from the pump ceased a n d t h e m a i n v a l v e s e a t e d , the high p r e s s u r e in t h e d i s c h a r g e t u b i n g w a s r e l i e v e d through the small valve until i t s closing pressure w a s r e a c h e d . The variable retraction delivery valve was developed in 1934 by Hans Heinr i c h a n d M a x H u r s t o f R o b e r t B o s c h in G e r many, and U . S. patent No, 2,090,351 Was g r a n t e d o n i t i n 1 9 3 7 . I t s v a r i a b l e retraction feature consisted of tapered grooves, increasing in width from top to bottom, on the c y l i n d r i c a l guide of the valve.

F i g . 8. D e l i v e r y valve with retraction piston. (After Axel Danielson's U . S . patent No. 1,589,515 o f 1 9 2 6 . )

FUEL SPRAY NOZZLES


Fuel infection was firs used in ottocyle engines before the invention of the Diesel Engine. The objective was to obtain better atomization of the pressurized fuel through spray nozzles than was possible with the crude c a r b u r e t o r s of that t i m e .

Poppet
In 1886 an American, John P . Holl a n d , was g r a n t e d U . S. p a t e n t N o . 537,000 on an engine accessory, including a poppet nozzle, which he claimed would burn kerosene and heavy crude petroleums as well as the lighter napthas commonly used for fuel in a vaporizer, where It was mixed with the incoming air before entering the combustion chamber. In 1900 U.S. patent No. 650,583 was granted to A. H. Goldingham for a poppet nozzle with anorifice plate below it.

Fig. 9. Inwardly opening valve nozzle

I n w a r d l y Opening Valve James Hargreaves of England was granted U. S, patent No, 431.581 in 1890 on the f i r s t n o z z l e of this type. As showni n F i g . 9, the valve was l i f t e d o f f i t s s e a t b y f u e l p r e s s u r e a c t i n g on the piston in opposition to the spring. In common with other early designs, this was a low pressure n o z z l e . A l ip projection was added below the orifice so that the issuing fuel impinged on it to effect better atomization of the fuel.

D i f f e r e n t i a l Valve The inwardly opening, differential valve type nozzle, which i s the most popular nozzle today, was f i r s t u s e d by T h o r n y c r o f t of E n g l a n d in 1908. Fig. 1 . 0 (s e e f o l l o w i n g page), shows t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f this n o z z l e . I n 1 9 1 0 F r e d e r i c k H . L i v e n s o f E n g l a n d w a s g r a n t e d E n g l i s h patent No, 20,582 on a similar nozzle with tangential fuel channels for the fuel entering at the seat to produce a diffused spray.

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History of Fuel Injection

by Frank DeLuca

Pintle Valve In 1 9 1 0 , P e t e r B o w m a n o f D e n m a r k a p p l i e d for a p a t e n t i n E n g l a n d o n w h a t m a y b e t h e e a r l i e s t f o r m of a n i n w a r d l y o p e n i n g , pintle nozzle. As shown in Fig. 11, the pintle, or valve extension, protruded through t h e spray h o l e t o p r o d u c e a n a n n u l a r o r i f i c e , and the seat for t h e f l a t b o t t o m valve was close to the orifice so that the nozzle had differential action. Hans Heinrich of Robert Basch, G e r m a n y w a s granted U . S . p a t e n t No. 2 , 0 1 7 , 0 2 8 i n 1935 o n t h e p o p u l a r t h r o t t l i n g pintle nozzle.
Accumulator T y p e
In 1926 an American, Guy Bell, was granted patent No.1,585,277 on an accumulator nozzle which injected at the end of the pump stroke, rather than during it. As shown in Fig. 12 (see following page), fuel from the pump was delivered to a space Fig. 10 Inwardly opening differential nozzle of Thornycroft above the valve A and through passages and check valve B to the a c c u m u l a t o r C in communication with the chamber D around the valve. During fuel delivery from the pump the nozzle valve remained seated, because the pressure of the incoming fuel a c t e d o n t o p o f the valve. When the pump spilled at the end of i t s effective stroke the high pressure fuel above the valve dropped to a low pressure, and t h e p r e s s u r e o f t h e f u e l stored i n t h e a c c u m u l a t o r and around the valve then acted on the differential area of the valve to lift it against the spring. The stored fuel then discharged through the nozzle orifice until its pressure dropped to the nozzle valve closing pressure. U.S. patent No. 1,701,089 was granted in 1929 to Edward Von Salis o f S w i t z e r l a n d f o r a n o z z l e with a spring operted accumulator plunger, and other modifications were made later by Robert Broege in 1931 and Gustav Eichelberg in 1939.

nozzle for each engine cylinder with fuel supplied from a constant pressure accumulator charged by a high pressure pump a n d r e g u l a t e d by a r e l i e f v a l v e . Harry E . K e n n e d y w a s g r a n t e d U . S . patent No. 1,092,956 on a novel construction of an electro-magnetic nozzle valve in 1933, and the Atlas- Imperial Diesel Engine Company of California about that time announced a commercial injection system with this type of nozzle.

Fig. 11. Inwardly o p e n i n g pintle valve nozzle. ( a f t e r Petcr B owman's B ritish patent No. 146 of 1 9 1 0 . )

E l e c t r o -m a g n e t i c a l l y O p e r a t e d The idea of lifting nozzle valves by solenoids was first suggested by an American, T h o m a s T .Gaff, who obtained U.S. patent N o . 1 , 0 5 9 , 6 0 4 o n i t in 1 9 1 3 . H e p r o p o s e d s u c h a

UNIT INJECTORS
From the earliest days of the diesel engine, troubles were encountered with the fuel

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History of Fuel Injection

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discharge tubings connecting the injection pump and nozzles. One solution was to eliminate the tubing by combining the pump and nozzle. The earliest form of this arrangement m e n t i s s h o w n i n F i g . 13 r e p r o d u c e d f r o m German patent No. 175, 932 i s s u e d t o Carl Weidman In 1905 for an air injection s y s t e m . In o p e r a t i o n t h e f u e l q u a n t i t y d e l i v e r e d b y plunger A and controlled by the opening period of suction valve B passed through c h e c k v a l v e C into the atomizer annulus D. There it mixed with the injection air before ejection through the nozzle orifice. In 1911 British patent No. 1517 was issued to Frederick Lamplough for a unit injector resembling those in use today. As shown i n F i g . 1 4 ( s e e f o l l o w i n g pa ge ) , it w a s o f s i m p l e design. Inlet f u e l entered through the top and passed through spring loaded ball valve Fig. 12. Accumulator nozzle (After Guy A. Bell's U.S. patent No. 1,585,277 of 1 926.) A and ports B into the space above the plunger C on its suction stroke. When the bell crank forced the p l u n g e r inward, the differential valve D w a s lifted by fuel pressure and fuel was discharged through the n o z z l e . F u e l quantity was controlled by varying the stroke by means of the sliding, tapered c a m . C o m m e r c i a l a c c e p t a n c e o f u n i t i n j e c t o r s in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s c o m m e n c e d i n 1 9 3 1 on W i n t o n e n g i n e s w i t h a design b y C . D . S a l i s b u r y . I n 1 9 3 4 A r t h u r F i e l d e n w a s g r a n t e d U . S . p a t e n t N O .1 , 9 8 1 , 9 1 3 o n t h e u n i t i n j e c t o r design a d o p t e d f o r t h e G e n e r a l M o t o r s t w o - c y c l e d i e s e l e n g i n e .

COMMERClAL INJECTION EQUIPMENT


From the first successful diesel engine to 1926, each engine manufacturer designed and built his own injection equipment. Since these engine manufacturers were not accustomed to make small, precision p a r t s requiring close t o l e r a n c e s , the c r u d e r a i r i n j e c t i o n and c o m m o n

Fig. 13. Early unit injector. (After Cnrl Weidmstn's German patent No.175,932 of 1905.)

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History of Fuel Injection

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rail fuel injection systems were used exclusively on the rather large engines of that period. Small engines, especially of the a u tomotive type, were not particularly s u c c e s s f u l , primarily b e c a u s e o f t h e l a c k o f s u i t a b l e f u e l

injection equipment. In December, 1922 the Robert Bosch Company of Stuttgart, Germany decided to manufacture fuel injection equipment, and after years of development i t s popular jerk pump with helix control, for which U. S. patent No. 1 , 8 3 1 , 6 4 9 was granted to Ottmar Bauer in 1931, was introduced in 1927 in both single and multiple plunger types. About the same time precision nozzle assemblies of the pintle and hole type were introduced, and subsequently other items such as supply
pumps, governors, and filters were marketed. Fig. 14. Unit injector with differential nozzle valve. With the availability of this injection (After Frederick Lamplough's British patent No. 1,517 of 1911.) equipment the high speed diesel engine came into existence. In a relatively short time other companies started m a n u f a c t u r i n g standardized types of fuel injection equipment for a l l types of engines and progress in d i e s e l engine development swung into high gear.

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