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Fundamentals of Heat Engines: Reciprocating and Gas Turbine Internal Combustion Engines
Jamil Ghojel
Jamil Ghojel
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ASME Press
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For the last 200 years or so, humans have been living in the epoch of power inwhich the heat engine has been the dominant device for converting heat to work and power. The development of the heat engine was for most of that time slow and chaotic and carried out mainly by poorly qualified practitioners who had no knowledge of basic theories of energy and energy conversion to mechanical work. In the field of engineering mechanics, drawings of early steam engines depict various, at times strange, inefficient mechanisms to convert steam power to mechanical power, such as the walking beam and sun and planet gear systems. The piston-crankmechanismwas first used in a steam engine in 1802 by Oliver Evans (Sandfort 1964) despite a design being proposed as early as 1589 for converting the rotary motion of an animal-driven machine to reciprocating motion in a pump. The first internal combustion engine (ICE) to bemade available commercially was Lenoir’s gas engine in 1860. This engine was also the first to employ a piston-crankmechanism to convert reciprocating motion of the piston to rotary motion, which has become, despite its shortcomings, a fixed feature and highly efficient mechanism in modern reciprocating engines. However, engine designers were never fully satisfied with this mechanism due to the need to balance numerous parasitic forces generated during operation and were constantly looking for alternative ways of obtaining direct rotary motion. This is said to have been one of the stimuli to develop steam and gas turbines in which a fluid, flowing through blades, causes the shaft to rotate, thus eliminating the need for a crankshaft. The results are smoother operation, lower levels of vibration, and low-cost support structures. All of these developments occurred over a very long period of time with advances in the science of engineering mechanics (more specifically, engineering dynamics), together with other engineering science branches such as fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.

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