A preliminary study of flame propagation in a spark-ignition engine

Rothrock, A M Spencer, R C
June 1937

The N.A.C.A. combustion apparatus was altered to operate as a fuel-injection, spark-ignition engine, and a preliminary study was made of the combustion of gasoline-air mixtures at various air-fuel ratios. Air-fuel ratios ranging from 10 to 21.6 were investigated. Records from an optical indicator and films from a high-speed motion-picture camera were the chief sources of data. Schlieren photography was used for an additional study. The results show that the altered combustion apparatus has characteristics similar to those of a conventional spark-ignition engine and should be useful in studying phenomena in spark-ignition engines. The photographs show the flame front to be irregularly shaped rather than uniformly curved. With a theoretically correct mixture the reaction, as indicated by the photographs, is not completed in the flame front but continues for some time after the combustion front has traversed the mixture.

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