The unsteady gas dynamic phenomena in engine intake systems of the type found in racecars have been examined. In particular, the resonant tuning effects, including cylinder-to-cylinder power variations, which can occur as a result of the interaction between an engine and its airbox have been considered.
Frequency analysis of the output from a Virtual 4-Stroke 1D engine simulation was used to characterise the forcing function applied by an engine to an airbox. A separate computational frequency sweeping technique, which employed the CFD package FLUENT, was used to determine the natural frequencies of virtual airboxes in isolation from an engine. Using this technique, an airbox with a natural frequency at 75 Hz was designed for a Yamaha R6 4-cylinder motorcycle engine. The existence of an airbox natural frequency at 75 Hz was subsequently confirmed by an experimental frequency sweeping technique carried out on the engine test bed.
A coupled 1D/3D analysis which employed the engine simulation package Virtual 4-Stroke and the CFD package FLUENT, was used to model the combined engine and airbox system. The coupled 1D/3D analysis predicted a 75 Hz resonance of the airbox at an engine speed of 9000 rpm. This frequency was the induction frequency for a single cylinder.
An airbox was fabricated and tested on the engine. Static pressure was recorded at a grid of points in the airbox as the engine was swept through a speed range of 3000 to 10000 rpm. The measured engine speed corresponding to resonance in the airbox agreed well with the predicted values. There was also good correlation between the amplitude and phase of the pressure traces recorded within the airbox and the 1D/3D predictions.