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SAE TECHNICAL PAPER SERIES

1999-01-0266

Technology for Future Air Intake Systems


Holger Paffrath, Matthias Alex and Karl-Ernst Hummel
FILTERWERK MANN+HUMMEL GMBH, Ludwigsburg, Germany

International Congress and Exposition Detroit, Michigan March 1-4, 1999


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1999-01-0266

Technology for Future Air Intake Systems


Holger Paffrath, Matthias Alex and Karl-Ernst Hummel
FILTERWERK MANN+HUMMEL GMBH, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Copyright 1999 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

ABSTRACT
The design principles for air intake systems (consisting of an air filter, intake manifold, resonators and air hoses) of passenger cars and the components themselves have changed in the past due to changes in customer requirements and legislation. The intake system components, for the most part, are still developed as single parts, not as a common intake system. The interactions within the complete system, concerning gas dynamics, acoustics and other aspects, are often only considered in a late development stage. To fulfill future demands, changes in the intake system development process and changes in intake system technology are necessary. This will be shown by examples.

From a production viewpoint, the first products designed in this way were based on cast-iron technology for the carburetor air intake manifold. Depending on the volume of units produced a number of different fully cast and partly assembled systems were required. In 1988, this technology was superseded by air intake manifolds made of thermoplastic [6]. This paper will describe the development of air intake systems and their components. These systems have made a major contribution to advancing combustion engine development from thermodynamic, acoustic, cost and packaging aspects in the past. To meet future demands, new ways of air intake system development have to be explored.

AIR INTAKE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT ASPECTS


The air intake system development is guided by demands from different disciplines. The requirements of each discipline itself were already taken into consideration in the past. The development of future air intake systems needs to focus on the link between the different disciplines as well. Some examples of interdisciplinary development steps are described below. THERMODYNAMICS AND INTAKE MANIFOLD PRODUCTION METHOD A major part of an engine's BMEP is determined by the gas exchange process and air-intake parameters such as runner length and diameter, transitions, volume, radii and bends. But time and again, engineers are forced to compromise on most optimization parameters when it comes to large volume production. Depending on the production method, the parameters mentioned above can only be realized within certain limits. For example, the required runner cross-section may be contradictory to optimized material distribution or wall thickness distribution. To quantify such parameters, this paper will describe the switchover elements used in many modern applications to achieve high volumetric efficiency. Fig. 1 shows the volumetric efficiency curve for an inline 4-cylinder engine with a 2-step variable length air intake manifold. The dashed line (short runner) represents the curve with the switchover element open, i.e. the impact of 1

INTRODUCTION
Modern air intake systems supply air to the combustion engine and consist of components that range from the air intake duct through to the cylinder head flange. A distinction is made between the air cleaner, which consists of components running from the intake orifice through to the throttle valve, and the air intake manifold, which runs from the throttle valve through to the cylinder head. The air cleaner system, with its main component, the air filter, has now assumed the additional task of silencing air intake noise. This development is the result of the introduction of new stringent laws governing noise levels. It also explains why system acoustics, which is influenced by several parameters, has become a separate discipline in developing air intake systems. Over the past thirty years intake manifolds in modern combustion engines have gone through a fast pace of innovation. In the 1960s, engines with sporty tuning were equipped with fuel injection to achieve high break mean effective pressures. Now this mixture formation system has become widespread since it helps to reduce exhaust gas emissions. By eliminating the fuel wall film in the air intake manifold, the development engineer can now design air intake runners to take account of gas exchange and flow characteristics.

tightness has no relevance. The solid lines represent the volumetric efficiency with a closed element (long runner). The production-related gap between the switchover element and the housing is used as a parameter. It becomes obvious that charge losses rise to unacceptable levels as a result of increased internal leakage, in particular when gas exchange processes are at their best. The quantitative measurement of the gap is problematic since both geometry and position are decisive factors in addition to gap "size". Fig. 2 shows the cause for lower volumetric efficiencies as the leakage rises. Large amplitudes which raise the air intake manifold pressure before "Inlet closes" are dampened. This leads to lower pressure amplitudes. In addition to 2-stage variable air intake systems, the ongoing trend is now toward 3-stage or continuously variable systems. Fig. 3 shows the relationship between improvements in volumetric efficiency versus the number of switching stages. As a result, systems with a large number of switchover stages and poor element seals need not be better then 2stage systems with good seals. A central issue affecting the development of air intake system variability is internal leakage. High-quality sealing technologies will, therefore, promote continuously variable systems. On the other hand, simple, seal-free or large-tolerance switchover concepts can not show the advantages of multi-stage variable air intake systems. For example, viewed from a global thermodynamic aspect, there may be no advantage in using a 3-stage system with poor sealing technology instead of a 2-stage variant with low internal leakage. It can be concluded, that the available production method for the manifold and its switchover elements have high influence on the engine performance and should be taken into consideration in the concept phase or in an early development stage. A good solution to improve sealing quality of the switchover element is e.g. a rotary valve. The stiff design of the rotary shaft, the beneficial detailed gap geometry and the ability to add additional sealing elements if necessary are the reasons for low leakage in the closed position. In addition the rotary valve does not influence the airflow in the runner in the open position. Fig. 4 shows an example of a rotary valve switchover element in a 2-stage variable manifold of a V6 engine. Butterfly valve switchover elements produced using a special injection-molding process, called overmolding, are the best from technical and cost aspects. In this process, the valve and the associated frame are molded in succession in the same die. The injection-molded frame basically forms the valve cavity. The results are high dimensional accuracy and low production costs since the valve and frame need no assembly. An example is shown in Fig. 5. Engineers, therefore, expect that this process for manufacturing switchover elements will become widespread.

ACOUSTICS AND THERMODYNAMICS From the acoustic engineer's viewpoint, the air intake system acts as a silencer between the combustion engine and the environment. The new limits discussed in the drive-by noise regulations (70 dB(A)) require the taking of measures that go beyond current concepts. A question must therefore be asked as where to place the acoustic components in the filter system or air intake manifold and what their design will be (Fig. 6). We have found that inline and side-branch resonators, silencers and /4 tubes have very different impacts depending on their location in the air intake system. There is also a clear relationship between gas exchange and acoustics when it comes to intake orifice noise. However, there must be a trade-off between effective intervention in the acoustic characteristic and disadvantages in gas exchange. The rule of thumb is that any intervention in intake orifice noise should be located more on the filter system side (Fig. 6, left axis); where the impact on gas exchange increases strongly as the distance to the cylinder head becomes smaller (Fig. 6, right axis). The system supplier therefore needs considerable experience in order to master future requirements in the two disciplines. Taking these well-known relationships as a basis, MANN+HUMMEL conducted an internal study with the objective of optimizing the acoustics of an air intake system with increased gas exchange performance. The following general conditions were defined: identical general package conditions lower pressure losses in the air intake system much lower intake orifice sound level uniform air flow to air cleaner A significant reduction of the intake orifice noise could be achieved with improved engine performance and reduced pressure loss of the intake system at the same time [1,2]. A component with major influence on the intake orifice noise is the dirty air duct in conjunction with the air cleaner. These components both act as an in-series Helmholts resonator. The resonance frequency required at low engine speeds can be adjusted by a reduced cross-section. However, at higher engine speeds, the cross-section area is larger and, therefore, encounters a lower pressure loss which is necessary to reach performance goals. The design consists of an adaptable intake cross-section which can be controlled regarding engine speed or any other reasonable parameter. It is apparent that the use of a variable cross-section intake duct achieves enhanced sound pressure level reductions of up to 20 dB(A) in a speed range until the biggest cross-section is reached (see Fig. 7). The engine performance suffers slightly from the reduced flow area. If the loss in volumetric efficiency can not be accepted, the cross-section can be larger, somewhere between the two extreme positions shown in Fig. 7. The 2

benefits concerning the reduction of the sound pressure level will then be reduced. This shows that there is still room to reduce intake orifice sound level in future. It will require variable acoustic components whose location in the air intake system must be carefully selected. There will also be more interaction between acoustic and gas exchange process. ACOUSTICS AND MATERIAL When it comes to the radiated shell noise, we have found it very interesting to divide the frequency range at 700 Hz. Plastic air intake systems, which have a complex design for stability and production reasons, often have a better characteristic in the lower frequency band. Above 700 Hz, the material's properties become more prominent despite the design and this can lead to a higher sound radiation [1,3]. The measured overall sound pressure level is normally not higher, but the relatively high frequency component is sometimes responsible for a noise, which is subjectively louder. The "treble sound" takes some getting used to and the different nature of the tone is one of the main problems in subjective acoustic assessment. Additional information concerning this topic is given in a separate paper [4]. PRODUCTION METHOD The process selected for manufacturing air intake manifolds depends on several factors. For the sake of clarity, this presentation is limited to plastic material. Since the air intake system is so highly complex, it is all the more reason for using the lost-core process. The core, which is inserted into the die before injection molding takes place, consists of a tin-bismuth alloy. This alloy has a melting point of 137 C. The process allows the core to be melted after the injection molding process and permits nearly any geometry required. We can now observe a trend, that is to say there is a particular relationship between design features, general conditions and the production process. Engineers are tending to prefer this production process for V-engines that have a high number of cylinders, complex switchovers and sophisticated flow geometries. But the other side of the coin is that the investment for production machinery is high and the minimum volume must therefore also be high. In comparison, the shell technology, that has been in widespread use since the start of the 1990s, is ideal for simple geometries and applications. It is also very interesting from the cost aspect. The shell process is used to friction-weld injection-molded parts. The trade-off here is less freedom of design and fewer possibilities to focus on gas exchange. Nevertheless, there are a number of highly complex applications now under development. The same applies to improvements in the price-performance ratio for the lost-core process. For this reason, the two methods will continue to be used in automobile technology in the future. 3

MATERIAL The problem of choosing what kind of material to go with what process is even more complex. The aspects that engineers have to take into account are technical, cost-related, historical and philosophical. The material properties of metals, i.e. modulus of elasticity, tensile strength and melting point, have a positive impact on factors such as temperature requirement and fatigue. Moreover, factors such as the integration of add-on parts (e.g. switchovers or valves), the possible complexity of thermodynamic design and cost aspects are clear arguments in favor of using plastics. All the materials, which are in use for air intake systems, can be recycled, although the cycles are already in place today only for aluminum.

AIR INTAKE SYSTEM VEHICLE INTEGRATION


The design of the entire intake system itself depends on several additional boundary conditions. E.g. packaging, cost and/or weight limits influence the intake system design too. Because air intake systems are large in size, packaging is one of the most important boundary conditions regarding the air intake system design [5]. As an example, the influence of throttle body position on the volumetric efficiency and on the intake orifice noise is shown here. Two intake system setups are compared which differ only regarding the throttle body position (see sketch on Fig. 8). One symmetrical manifold design with the air entering the plenum in radial direction between cylinder 2 and cylinder 3. One asymmetrical manifold design with axial air flow from the throttle into the plenum. Results of the comparison, which was done by computational analysis, are shown in Fig. 8 and Fig. 9. In this example the mean value of the volumetric efficiency of both intake systems shows no significant difference (not shown here). But the uniformity of the air distribution to the 4 cylinders is affected. With the asymmetric manifold the volumetric efficiency deviates up to 1.5 % from the mean value. This leads to different air-fuel ratios for all cylinders, especially at high engine speed. With the symmetrical manifold the deviation is much smaller. The overall sound pressure level (SPL) of the intake orifice noise is affected by the throttle body position too. The overall SPL increases for the asymmetrical design at engine speeds above 4000 rpm. The cause is the significant increase of the SPL of the odd orders. This is typical for 4-cylinder engines with asymmetrical manifolds. At high engine speeds the odd orders determine the overall SPL. Beside the effect on the overall SPL the sound quality is affected by this change in manifold design. It is reported, that sound quality is subjectively rated worse when the odd orders dominate the overall SPL [7].

As it was shown, a single boundary condition defined by the package has an effect on volumetric efficiency, airfuel ratio, overall sound pressure level and the sound quality. The need for high attention to boundary conditions like this and for an early involvement of the supplier in the development process is obvious.

REFERENCES
1. Weber, O.; Paffrath, H.; Cedzich, W.; Beutnagel, J. Thermodynamische und akustische Auslegung von Ansaugsystemen fr Fahrzeugmotoren unter Bercksichtigung fertigungstechnischer Belange Thermodynamic and Acoustic Development of Air Intake Systems for Combustion Engines Considering Manufacturing Aspects 19th International Vienna Motor Symposium, Vienna, May 1998 2. Filterwerk Mann+Hummel GmbH topsys - A New Concept for Intake Systems Mann+Hummel Order Number: VKD 9272 en 0897 3. Metzner, F.; Kirsch, U.; Ebel, B. Der neue Fnfzylindermotor von Volkswagen The new 5-cylinder engine by Volkswagen MTZ 59 (1998) 1 4. Pricken, F. Top Acoustic of Plastic Air Intake Manifolds 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, March 1999 5. Indra, F. Package: Die Herausforderung fr den Motorenentwickler Package: The Challenge for an Engine Designer 19th International Vienna Motor Symposium, Vienna, May 1998 6. Esch, H.-J. Neue Wege der Zusammenarbeit MTZ 58 (1997) 5 7. Motorgeruschgestaltung Engine Forschungsbericht Nr. 626, 1996

CONCLUSION
An adapted design considering the air intake system material and the production method is important for the engine characteristics and should already be taken into consideration in the concept phase. In variable manifolds the detailed design of switchover elements has significant influence on engine performance. It should be taken into consideration in the concept phase or in an early development stage. Additional variable components in the air intake system may be necessary to fulfill future requirements concerning noise emissions. Additional to the acoustic improvement these components allow the design of the air filter to focus on filtration and flow aspects instead of focusing on reduction of noise emissions. Both production methods lost-core and shell technology have their specific advantages. Intake manifolds in plastic material produced in shell technology are the best compromise between function, environmental protection and costs. In the past, and in some cases still nowadays, many disadvantageous details of the air intake system design were defined in the concept phase or in an early development stage. Placing the development of the entire air intake system under one roof and the early involvement of an innovative supplier brings new technologies into production faster and helps to prevent contradictions in the concept definition. The result will be a shorter development duration and an improved air intake system at the same time.

Sound-Design

FVV-

CONTACT
For additional information please contact Filterwerk Mann+Hummel GmbH, 71631 Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Influence of Internal Leakage on Volumetric Efficiency


1.05

Volumetric efficiency [-]

Variable air intake manifold with two different runner length Influence of the internal sealing technology on volumetric efficiency Improved technology of internal sealing decreased internal leakage increased volumetric efficiency

short runner length


1.00 0.95 0.90 0.85 0.80 0.75 0.70 1000
internal leakage decreased

long runner length

 

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

Engine speed [rpm]


MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 1.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Influence of Internal Leakage on Gas Dynamics


Pressure at Cylinder-Head Flange [bar] Variable air intake manifold with two different runner length Measured pressure at cylinder-head flange Influence of the internal sealing technology on pressure waves Improved technology of internal sealing decreased internal leakage increased amplitude of pressure waves improved gas dynamic charging
1.4
decreased

IVO
internal leakage

IVC

1.2

1.0

  

0.8

3750 rpm, wot long runner


0.6 0 180 360 540 720

Crank Angle [deg CA]

MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 2.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Influence of Sealing Quality on Manifold Tuning Concept


better

Increase of Volumetric Efficiency

same quality of internal sealing


decreasing leakage

single runner length


MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

two step

three step

continously variable

Figure 3.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Rotary Valve Switchover Element

Rotary Valve

Long Runner Short Runner


MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 4.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Injection-Molded Flap

The injection-molded frame basically forms the flap cavity Flap and frame are molded in succession in the same die Flap and frame need no assembly High dimensional accuracy Low leakage

MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 5.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Intake System Components and Their Effects


Effect on Intake Orifice Noise
Broad Band Resonator Inline Resonator

Side-Branch Resonator

Air Inlet Pipe

Air Cleaner

Clean Air Pipe

Air Intake Manifold Plenum

Air Intake Runner

MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 6.

Effect on Gas Exchange

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Effect of a Variable Area Intake Duct


Overall Sound Pressure Level [dB] 120 110 100 90 80 70 120 Volumetric Efficiency [%] 100 80 60 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 Engine Speed [rpm]

Flow area optimized for high engine performance low noise emission Intake Orifice Noise

MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 7.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Influence of Plenum Design on Volumetric Efficiency


Deviation of C ylinder-Individual V olum etric E fficiency Com pared to M ean V alue [% ] 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 -1.0 -2.0 -3.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 -1.0 -2.0 -3.0

Unsymmetric Manifold

Symmetric Manifold

C ylin d e r 1 C ylin d e r 2

C ylin d e r 3 C ylin d e r 4

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

E ngine S peed [rpm ]


MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 8.

Technology for Future Intake Systems

Influence of Plenum Design on Intake Orifice Noise


3. O rder 5. O rder 7. O rder

S ound P ressure Level [dB ]

In take O rifice N o ise

140 120 100 80 60 40 20 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 1000

Overall SPL

Unsymmetric Manifold

Symmetric Manifold

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

E ngine S peed [rpm ]


MANN+HUMMEL, 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit

Figure 9.