Engine valvetrain is one of the complex mechanisms in internal combustion engine as it involves many components namely, cam, pushrod, rocker lever, crosshead, intake and exhaust valves etc. Due to many components, their interactions with each other and presence of valve lash makes the system complicated to simulate. Typically, engine system level valvetrain dynamic simulation is performed in 1D software.
Aim of this study is to understand the physics governing interactions and motion of the components in the valvetrain. This is done by simulating an inline 6-cylinder engine valvetrain mechanism through transient dynamic analysis in Ansys. This paper describes an approach used to simulate the valvetrain mechanism in Ansys and associated learnings. Finite Element Analysis model considers actual stiffnesses of all components. Appropriate joints/contacts are used to model the interactions. The comparative assessment of the valvetrain forces between Ansys results and 1D simulation results shows a good match. Further, 3D simulation in Ansys captures the key characteristics of valvetrain like crosshead tilting, uneven valve actuations and closing. It is also able to predict uneven contact and polishing observed on valve tip face.
Overall, this study helped to ascertain the validity of 3D FEA method. This method also enhances the understanding of the valvetrain dynamics which can be helpful in further design improvements. This paper also includes a discussion on further steps to improve analysis model to make it more realistic e.g. including hot valve lash, valve seat wear etc. These improvements will help to understand effects of valve lash on valve velocities, sudden impact loads on valves, valve stresses/fatigue, pushrod buckling etc.