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Janett, Leslie G. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 39, Number 2 (November, 1934)

Kaiser, E. L.
Diesel's dream materialized,   pp. 19-20


Page 19


The WISCONSIN ENGINEER
VOLUME 39, NO. 2
NOVEMBER, 1934
Diesel's Dream Materialized
                             By E. R. KAISER
IN our Engineering Library there is a little thin book
which is a classic in engineering literature. Begun in
1879 by a young German engineer, Rudolph Diesel, it is
the theoretical development of "The Rational Heat Engine"
which now bears his name. If you will read it through
and compare the ideas expressed and plans laid down with
what has developed from them, you will agree that this
inventor had a thorough training in fundamentals and a
remarkable vision and courage in developing a novel design
so great a departure from the
practice at the time.
  Instead of operating a spark
ignition internal combustion en-
gine with inefficient low com-
pression on expensive, highly
volatile fuels, he proposed to ob-
tain high efficiency by compress-
ing a charge of air to 500
pounds per square inch and in-
troducing the cheapest available
fuel, coal dust, into the cylinder
at the peak of compression at
which time the air would be hot   Valve Mechanism of 100
enough to ignite the coal with-
out the aid of an electric spark. A marvelous combination
if it could be made to work!
  It would take a larger book to record the many dis-
heartening interviews with manufacturers which followed.
There were "practical" men of little vision in his day as
there are in ours. Authorities "knew" without proof that
an engine piston could not withstand 15 atmospheres pres-
sure of hot gas.   Finally in the summer of 1892 the
Maschinenfabrik Augsburg took up his idea and had an
engine built. Whatever doubt may have existed as to
whether the fuel would ignite as Diesel proposed must have
been dispelled on the day of the first test, because the
engine promptly blew itself to pieces.
  When the mystery which surrounded this early experi-
mental work cleared away, this company manufactured a
successful Diesel engine running on a low-priced fuel oil
in place of coal dust-an alternative fuel suggested in the
inventor's early plans. The difficulties accompanying the
successful introduction of the coal against high pressures
were never solved by Diesel. He had made a remarkable
advance for which there need be no apologies. In 1913
when the worthy "Doktor Ingenieur" mysteriously disap-
F-dl-  Wllllw'      Lm11161C llgllwll
Channel his engine was being
made in several countries.
  In 1911 Dr. Diesel's former
chief draftsman, Rudolph Pawli-
kowski, an engineer at the Gdr-
litzer (Germany) Maschinenfab-
rik took up the idea of the coal-
dust engine. In 1916 his Rupa-
motor No. 1 made its first
successful test run.  It was a
standard Diesel engine of 1612
inch here   nr ')' inchStok
                         Inrh_1 A- rdrs -   I -n1  ctrc Gs-
p., 2 Cylinder Rupamotor.  delivering 80 horsepower at 160
                         rpm but fitted with a set of
valves for introducing the coal-dust fuel. The 4-stroke
cycle principle was retained. Six other engines have been
built since that time; vertical, horizontal, single, and mult-
cylinder units. A 2-stroke cycle machine has also been
built to obtain higher horsepower per unit of engine weight
and cost.
  The major problem in the development work from 1911
to 1916 was to introduce the coal dust into the engine
without briquetting and to keep the coal valves tight against
a pressure of 430 to 700 pounds per square inch and a
temperature of 22000 to 3300f F. The successful valve de-
sign for one of the earlier engines is shown in Fig. 2. It
will be noted that in the engine of Fig. 1 a change in
November, 1934
h
Pagre 1 9


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