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Thermo-Mechanical Simulation of a Marine Engine's Cylinder Head

Coupled Fluid and Structure Analysis using ANSYS

Thermo-Mechanical Simulation of a Marine Engine's Cylinder Head


Modern engine development needs to combine economical aspects with high technological standards. Aiming for consistent life durability, while achieving a more efficient design, weight reduction directly increases the economical efficiency in engine development. Durability analyses based on static and cyclic stresses considering the combustion cycle and its thermo-mechanical influence on the durability as well as static loads resulting from press fittings or pretension are performed to ensure the endurance strength of the engine. Finite Element Analyses determine reliable thermo-mechanical stresses due to the compression process of the airfuel mixture, combustion, exhaust outlet and the air fuel mixture inlet. Here the analysis considers the engine's cooling process in combination with the combustion cycle as well as the thermal interaction between fluid and structure within the cylinder head.


A CFD analysis by ANSYS CFX covering the cooling and combustion process determines the thermal behavior within the engine and provides the basis used for a subsequent stress analysis. This mechanical analysis implies several load cases describing the combustion cycle as well as temperature dependent material properties and nonlinear contacts in a comprehensive finite element model (3,200,000 nodes and 60 nonlinear contact regions). Thermo-mechanical stresses within critical regions of the engine are determined for a subsequent durability analysis in a non-linear ANSYS FE simulation. Further results focus on the contact behavior and the deformation of specific parts and the entire model. The complex analysis of the engine behavior provides information about the contact pressure and possible gaps occurring within the combustion cycle. This information is used to rule out undesired effects on the thermo-mechanical behavior of the engine and its several parts already in the design phase.