Development of an interactive camshaft design tool
Camshafts are crucial components in combustion engines. Their purpose is to control the opening and closing of intake and exhaust valves, which affects various aspects of an engine’s performance. The valves control the intake of the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber and the exhaust of combustion gases. The synchronization of this task with the engine’s cycle is essential for the system to work as desired, and timing parameters such as valve duration affect the engine’s power and efficiency. This thesis addresses the development task of a software program for camshaft design. The program must be able to receive input design parameters, process them and provide visual and numerical information for the user to make decisions in the design process. It also needs to be intuitive and provide guidance through a highly iterative process. The program is divided in two parts: cam mechanism and shaft design. The intake and exhaust cams are initially designed in accordance to the desired timing properties of the combustion cycle, the engine speed and the mechanism’s structural properties. They are later included in a shaft with specific structure and dimensions, and its deformations and stresses are analyzed in order to validate the design or back up to a previous step to perform a new iteration. The program is developed entirely in Mathworks Matlab using Matlab’s GUIDE for the GUI design and only standard Matlab libraries. The development method is presented along with the GUI’s description and an application example, using ANSYS to perform a FEM deformation and stress analysis for comparison with the program’s results.
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