::Reciprocating engine


Engine::piston    Engines::cylinder    Steam::power    Cycle::stroke    Convert::which    Internal::piston

Internal combustion piston engine
Components of a typical, four stroke cycle, internal combustion piston engine.
E - Exhaust camshaft
I - Intake camshaft
S - Spark plug
V - Valves
P - Piston
R - Connecting rod
C - Crankshaft
W - Water jacket for coolant flow

A reciprocating engine, also often known as a piston engine, is a heat engine (usually, although there are also pneumatic and hydraulic reciprocating engines) that uses one or more reciprocating pistons to convert pressure into a rotating motion. This article describes the common features of all types. The main types are: the internal combustion engine, used extensively in motor vehicles; the steam engine, the mainstay of the Industrial Revolution; and the niche application Stirling engine. Internal Combustion engines are further classified in two ways: either a spark-ignition (SI) engine, where the spark plug initiates the combustion; or a compression-ignition (CI) engine, where the air within the cylinder is compressed, thus heating it, so that the heated air ignites fuel that is injected then or earlier.<ref name="Cengal" >Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach by Yunus A. Cengal and Michael A. Boles</ref>

Reciprocating engine sections
Intro  Common features in all types  History   Engine capacity   Other modern non-internal combustion types  Reciprocating quantum heat engine  Miscellaneous engines  See also  Notes  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Common features in all types