Maple used for single-cylinder engine design to help EMAK achieve high efficiency - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study: Maple used for single-cylinder engine design to help EMAK achieve high efficiency

EMAK has employed Maple™, mathematics software for engineering applications from Maplesoft™, to develop new “clean” engines. Maple is used to simulate and predict performance and emissions, which plays a direct role in increasing the engine’s efficiency and reducing time-to-market.

EMAK is an Italian company specializing in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of portable machinery. Most notably, EMAK produces garden machine tools such as chainsaws, brush cutters, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and water pumps. The garden machine tools have a single cylinder engine, which is generally two-stroke.

New anti-pollution legislation (EPA in the US market and EURO in the European market) has made it mandatory for all manufacturers of portable machinery (like in the automotive sector) to adopt new standards and to thoroughly review the technologies currently being used in engines. As a result, EMAK has had to invest a considerable amount of resources in research to aid in the development of “clean” engines with a low level of polluting emissions. 

EMAK chose Maple as a simulation tool for engines, in order to optimize performance, increase efficiency, and improve design. As a first step, Maple was used to develop a one-dimensional code to predict engine performance and emissions.

“Using Maple, the engineers were able to drastically reduce the time typically spent on multiple trials and fine-tuning,” said Marco Ferrari, Engineering Manager of EMAK. “Moreover, Maple’s graphical interface makes reading the data easier, especially the 3-D diagrams which help us to understand and interpret what is going on inside the engine.”

The engine’s geometric parameters, obtained from a first computation, are entered into the code. Maple is used to obtain various parameters such as pressure, outflow, and temperature in each individual pipe. It is then possible to adjust the cycle to each engine speed and to obtain power, consumption, and efficiency curves which are compared with benchmarked data. In addition to finding the thermodynamic characteristics, this process also determines the loads that are generated on the various components of the crank drive, piston, connecting rod, drive shaft, etc. These readings are essential for the subsequent structural verification of the components using an FEM analysis.

By comparing the geometric parameters with the experimental data, the physical phenomena that occur inside the engine can be described mathematically.

Furthermore, empirical mathematical models to describe certain phenomena typical of two-stroke engines have been developed with Maple through specific tests carried out in the Research and Development department.

By using Maple, EMAK has achieved high computation accuracy, with an average error of 7%, which is very commendable. The two diagrams show the comparisons between the computed curve and the curve obtained under experiment. New mathematical models in the form for a system of differential equation are currently being studied in an attempt to achieve enhanced simulations of the wave effects and, thus, to make qualitative improvements to the curves obtained from computation.