At NextGen Diesel, we believe in education. We think the world is a better place when everyone knows what they are talking about, rather than spewing nonsense into the void and hoping no one realizes. Consider us a resource on all things diesel—we are here to help. We want to provide some basic information and highlight a few of the more important components of a complete diesel engine. Keep reading so you can head into the world with this new knowledge.
Piston and Piston Rings
The pistons, inside any engine, reside in the cylinders, and the piston rings are around the top part of the piston. The piston moves up and down within the cylinder from the internal combustion. The rod of the piston attaches to the crankshaft, and as it moves up and down within the cylinder, it moves the crankshaft. The piston rings seal the valve so that no air, fuel, or combustion escapes and no energy becomes lost. Without the rings, you lose energy, fuel will spray into the engine, and overall performance goes down.
The crankshaft mounts to the engine block and is responsible for converting the up and down energy of the pistons into rotational energy. The pistons connect to the crankshaft through the connecting rods and together they form the crank mechanism. This crank mechanism transmits power to other engine systems. The rotational motion of the crankshaft creates torque, but it’s not continuous—it only occurs when each piston is on the expansion cycle. Because of this, a flywheel mounts to the crankshaft to smooth the engine torque.
The flywheel acts like a mechanical battery. It stores energy from the engine for use in other places. As the crankshaft moves the flywheel, it preserves the power in the form of movement or kinetic energy. The mass of the flywheel applies inertia to keep the engine crankshaft turning between each of the piston firings, so the rotation speed of the crankshaft remains constant and the engine runs smoothly.
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