The Different Valve Technologies Used In Making Car Engines
Over the years, many inventions have evolved for the better. This is no different for car engines. Today’s vehicle engines are powerful, economical, and have more versatility and variety than ever before. And, with proper maintenance and care, today’s car engines can last for years.
As car engine technology has evolved, car manufacturers have developed and enhanced key parameters of their engines. Valve technology is an area where engine manufacturers create different development and engineering curves. This is done to improve their machines and as a measure to set themselves apart from the competition.
Most people are unaware of the unique nuances involved in valve technology. Still, if you’re an avid car enthusiast, you may have come across standard valve technology terms from time to time. In this article, the team at Howie’s Car Corral is taking a look at valve technology and how it’s used in making car engines.
Valve Engine Technology
What is valve engine technology?
Valve technology is essential for car and vehicle engines because it determines a standard internal combustion engine’s operation and performance. Valve engine technology has evolved over several decades to become more reliable and fuel-efficient.
What do engine valves do?
A standard engine functions by opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves. How and when valves open and close determines the air/fuel mixture entering the combustion chamber and the external flow of exhaust gases.
Valves operate under a fixed time frame that is split between different valve functionalities. These functionalities include when valves are lifted, the time they open, and the length of time they remain lifted.
Modern Valve Technology
Engines that employ modern technologies can adjust the time frame of valve engagement depending on the engine requirements. For example, when a motor is working at a low RPM, its valve opening requirements are different from when the engine is running a high RPM.
Types of Modern Valve Engines
Examples of engines that employ modern valve technology include:
- VTVT – Variable Timing Valve Train
- VVT – Variable Valve Timing
- VVT-i – Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence
- i-VTEC – Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift with Electronic Control System
- Ti-VCT – Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing
How do these valve technologies differ?
Most of these technologies effectively control the valve timing according to engine requirements such as RPMs. This basically means that they advance the opening of intake valves or provide valve overlap between intake and exhaust to ensure optimum engine performance. The unique technology (i-VTEC) differs from the rest as it can change the valve lift for greater flexibility.
How Does Valve Technology Affect Vehicle Performance?
Developments in valve technology, such as variable valve timing and lift, make the engine more responsive to throttle inputs. Engines that employ these features generally have better low-end power than ones that do not use advanced valve technology. These technologies also promote fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, which is especially appealing to the cost-conscious car buyer.
Which Vehicle Manufacturers Employ Valve Technology?
Different manufacturers use different valve technologies to make these advanced and powerful engines. These technologies have also made it easier for these manufactures to meet the strict emission standards set by regulation bodies.
The VTVT technology is used by Asian car manufacturer Hyundai. In contrast, the VVT & VVTi are used by a group of car manufacturers that include Toyota and Suzuki. The i-VTEC is used by Honda while the Ti-VCT is employed by the Ford Motor Company.
Is Valve Technology Continuing to Advance?
Yes. As the demand for increased fuel efficiency from vehicle engines increases, mechanical engineers continue to improve and adapt valve technology.
As of 2018, there were more advanced valve technologies that make use of continuous variation. The Valvematic and Valvetronic, for example, are such systems that aim to create infinite adjustment of valves and timing.
The Valvematic is used by Toyota, and the Valvetronic is used by German automobile manufacturer BMW. We can only hope that the car industry will continue improving these technologies to give car buyers and dealers more cost-effective and fuel-efficient solutions.
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