The simulation of direct injection diesel engines requires accurate models to predict spray evolution and combustion processes. Several models have been proposed and widely tested for traditional injection strategies characterized by single injection pulse close to top dead center. Unfortunately, these models show some limits when applied to different injection strategies so that a correct simulation of engine performances and emission cannot be achieved without changing variables included in spray and combustion models. The aim of the present investigation is to improve the prediction capability of the KIVA3V code in case of pilot injection in order to use numerical simulations to define optimized pilot injection strategies. This goal was achieved by eliminating the hypotheses of constant fuel density and constant spray angle in the KIVA3V code and by using a modified version of the Shell model. The proposed modifications to the Shell model allow a better description of low temperature kinetics by the addition of two more radicals and three new kinetics reactions. The improvements in the code were verified by comparing experimental data and numerical results over a wide range of operating conditions including single injections, pilot injections and EGR.

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