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The engine was installed in an Audi hull named "Audi ", but was not mass-produced. Mazda, however, claimed to have solved the apex seal problem operating test engines at high speed for hours without failure.
The company followed with a number of Wankel "rotary" in the company's terminology vehicles, including a bus and a pickup truck.
Customers often cited the cars' smoothness of operation.
However, Mazda chose a method to comply with hydrocarbon emission standards that, while less expensive to produce, increased fuel consumption. Unfortunately for Mazda, this was introduced immediately prior to a sharp rise in fuel prices. Curtiss-Wright produced the RC engine which was comparable to a V8 engine in performance and fuel consumption. The company normally used two-rotor designs.
A more advanced twin- turbo three-rotor engine was fitted in the Eunos Cosmo sports car. In , Mazda introduced the Renesis engine fitted in the RX The Renesis engine relocated the ports for exhaust from the periphery of the rotary housing to the sides, allowing for larger overall ports, better airflow, and further power gains.
Some early Wankel engines had also side exhaust ports, the concept being abandoned because of carbon buildup in ports and the sides of the rotor. The Renesis engine solved the problem by using a keystone scraper side seal, and approached the thermal distortion difficulties by adding some parts made of ceramics.
However, this was not enough to meet more stringent emissions standards. Mazda ended production of their Wankel engine in after the engine failed to meet the improved Euro 5 emission standards , leaving no automotive company selling a Wankel-powered vehicle.
Mazda states that the SkyActiv-R solves the three key issues with previous rotary engines: fuel economy, emissions and reliability. Chapin Jr. However, Gerald C. Meyers , AMC's vice president of the engineering product group, suggested that AMC should buy the engines from Curtiss-Wright before developing its own Wankel engines, and predicted a total transition to rotary power by The oil crisis played a part in frustrating the uptake of the Wankel engine. Rising fuel prices and talk about proposed US emission standards legislation also added to concerns.
Those findings were not taken into account when the cancellation order was issued.
Most of the production went to the security services. A rotary version of the Samara was sold to Russian public from Aviadvigatel , the Soviet aircraft engine design bureau, is known to have produced Wankel engines with electronic injection for aircraft and helicopters, though little specific information has surfaced. In , Henry Ford II stated that the rotary probably won't replace the piston in "my lifetime".
However, patented design such as U. Patent 3,, , G. Patent 3,, , "Device for machining trochoidal inner walls", and others, solved the problem.
Rotary engines have a problem not found in reciprocating piston four-stroke engines in that the block housing has intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust occurring at fixed locations around the housing.
In contrast, reciprocating engines perform these four strokes in one chamber, so that extremes of "freezing" intake and "flaming" exhaust are averaged and shielded by a boundary layer from overheating working parts. The use of heat pipes in an air-cooled Wankel was proposed by the University of Florida to overcome this uneven heating of the block housing.
This gives a more constant surface temperature. The temperature around the spark plug is about the same as the temperature in the combustion chamber of a reciprocating engine. With circumferential or axial flow cooling, the temperature difference remains tolerable. For a while, engineers were faced with what they called "chatter marks" and "devil's scratch" in the inner epitrochoid surface.
They discovered that the cause was the apex seals reaching a resonating vibration, and the problem was solved by reducing the thickness and weight of apex seals.
Scratches disappeared after the introduction of more compatible materials for seals and housing coatings. These approaches did not require a high-conductivity copper insert, but did not preclude its use.
Increasing the displacement and power of a rotary engine by adding more rotors to a basic design is simple, but a limit may exist in the number of rotors, because power output is channeled through the last rotor shaft, with all the stresses of the whole engine present at that point.
For engines with more than two rotors, coupling two bi-rotor sets by a serrate coupling between the two rotor sets has been tested successfully. Research in the United Kingdom under the SPARCS Self-Pressurising-Air Rotor Cooling System project, found that idle stability and economy was obtained by supplying an ignitable mix to only one rotor in a multi-rotor engine in a forced-air cooled rotor, similar to the Norton air-cooled designs.
The Wankel engine's drawbacks of inadequate lubrication and cooling in ambient temperatures, short engine lifespan, high emissions and low fuel efficiencies were tackled by Norton rotary engine specialist David Garside , who developed three patented systems in A problem with rotary engines is that the engine housing has permanently cool and hot surfaces when running.
It also generates excessive heat inside the engine which breaks down lubricating oil quickly. The SPARCS system reduces this wide differential in heat temperatures in the metal of the engine housing, and also cooling the rotor from inside the body of the engine. This results in reduced engine wear prolonging engine life.
This is self-pressurised by capturing the blow-by past the rotor side gas seals from the working chambers. The reactor, located in the exhaust stream outside of the engine's combustion chamber, consumes unburnt exhaust products without using a second ignition system before directing burnt gasses into the exhaust pipe. Horse power is given to the reactors shaft. Lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency are achieved. While this places great demands on the materials used, the simplicity of the Wankel makes it easier to use alternative materials, such as exotic alloys and ceramics.
With water cooling in a radial or axial flow direction, and the hot water from the hot bow heating the cold bow, the thermal expansion remains tolerable. Several materials have been used for plating the housing working surface, Nikasil being one.
For the apex seals, the choice of materials has evolved along with the experience gained, from carbon alloys, to steel, ferrotic, and other materials. The combination between housing plating and apex and side seals materials was determined experimentally, to obtain the best duration of both seals and housing cover. For the shaft, steel alloys with little deformation on load are preferred, the use of Maraging steel has been proposed for this.
Leaded gasoline fuel was the predominant type available in the first years of the Wankel engine's development. Lead is a solid lubricant, and leaded gasoline is designed to reduce the wearing of seal and housings. The first engines had the oil supply calculated with consideration of gasoline's lubricating qualities. As leaded gasoline was being phased out, Wankel engines needed an increased mix of oil in the gasoline to provide lubrication to critical engine parts.
Many engineers agree that the addition of oil to gasoline as in old two-stroke engines is a safer approach for engine reliability than an oil pump injecting into the intake system or directly to the parts requiring lubrication. A combined oil-in-fuel plus oil metering pump is always possible. Also, in earlier model Wankel engines, carbon particles could become trapped between the seal and the casing, jamming the engine and requiring a partial rebuild.
Further sealing problems arose from the uneven thermal distribution within the housings causing distortion and loss of sealing and compression.
This thermal distortion also caused uneven wear between the apex seal and the rotor housing, evident on higher mileage engines.
However, Mazda rotary engines solved these initial problems. Current engines have nearly seal-related parts. Bentele, C. Fuel economy and emissions[ edit ] The Wankel engine has problems in fuel efficiency and emissions when burning gasoline.
The slowness of a gasoline mixture to ignite, its slowness in flame propagation speed and the quenching distance of 2mm to hydrogen's 0. This unburnt fuel is ejected into the atmosphere via the exhaust pipe, giving emission problems.
This would result in a larger amount of unburned hydrocarbons released into the exhaust. The exhaust is, however, relatively low in NOx emissions, because combustion temperatures are lower than in other engines, and also because of exhaust gas recirculation EGR in early engines.
This allowed Mazda to meet the United States Clean Air Act of in , with a simple and inexpensive "thermal reactor", which was an enlarged chamber in the exhaust manifold.
By decreasing the air-fuel ratio , unburned hydrocarbons HC in the exhaust would support combustion in the thermal reactor. Piston-engine cars required expensive catalytic converters to deal with both unburned hydrocarbons and NOx emissions. This inexpensive solution increased fuel consumption with the oil crisis of raising the price of gasoline leading to lowering of sales.
Description This book takes the reader from the conception of a budget racing car to its appearance on the racetrack in easily comprehensible steps. It also gives advice about design and construction, procurement of engines, and potential pitfalls. Tony Pashley revisits the path that he took in the Pashley Project articles in Race Tech magazine during the design and construction of two successful hillclimb cars, but this time in great detail, with a view to enabling the reader to carry out a similar exercise for themselves.
Although hillclimb and sprint cars are the focal topic, a lot of the book is applicable to race cars in general. The cars under discussion in the book are powered by motorcycle engines, which are meeting with great success in the smaller racing car classes.
The total process of building a car is described, beginning with the selection and procurement of the engine. Two recipes for chassis construction are illustrated in detail, along with guidance on the processes of construction and a description of the required equipment.