Geneva -Saab unveiled a tilting-head, variable-compression engine at this year's annual Motor Show here-which the car maker claims delivers 30% better fuel economy with peak power comparable to a conventional engine having twice the displacement. Key to the Saab Variable Compression (SVC) engine is a cylinder head with integral cylinders (the monohead) which is pivoted at the crankcase relative to the lower portion, made up of the engine block, crankshaft, and pistons. The five-cylinder, 1.6(liter) displacement engine, a prototype and not a production configuration, produces 225 hp and 224 lb-ft of torque.
The tilting mechanism in the Saab Variable
Compression engine changes the slope of the upper 'monohead' by up to 4
degrees relative to the engine base, which increases combustion chamber
volume, lowering the compression ratio at high
Compression ratio is de-creased for high load conditions (i.e. acceleration)
by a hydraulic actuator that tilts the monohead up to 4°relative to the
crankcase. This increases combustion chamber volume, lowering the compression
ratio to avoid fuel pre-ignition (knocking). A rubber bellows seals the monohead
to the crankcase. Taking into account the engine speed, load, and fuel type, the
engine management system continuously varies the compression ratio between 14
and 8:1. Other vital features include using a basically small displacement
engine (with low pumping losses) and a mechanical supercharger. Saab engineers
chose to forgo their trademark exhaust-driven turbocharger in favor of a
mechanical compressor because of the quick response needed by the SVC engine
along with double the boost pressure (2.8 bar or 40 psi) compared to their
current production engines.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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