Automotive Design – How Computed Tomography (CT) Can Improve Fuel Injector Performance

The advent of the fuel injection system has enabled the automotive industry to deliver benefits such as improving fuel mileage, making vehicles less polluting, and creating a more reliable motor. Initially, the injector was used to fill fuel into the combustion chamber, but today the injector is a highly tuned piece of hardware.

Understanding the internal mechanisms and the spray dispersion is important for the durability and reliability of the hardware. Computed tomography (CT) scanning provides a technique to look inside the injector without disassembling it.

Inspection of Fuel Injector

As there are many pieces in a fuel injector that need to work together flawlessly, it is essential to inspect multiple features when the fuel injector is examined. Starting at the end, the injector tip is a complex part of the vehicle’s performance. The tip’s geometry is critical for fuel management. Direction and diameter can be understood by inspecting the holes in the tip. Delivering the perfect mist from these holes can determine the vehicles miles per gallon.

Moving up on the injector, the next part to be inspected is the ball. To deliver the right amount of fuel, the ball moves up and down. If the right amount of fuel is being delivered at the correct time can be checked by inspecting the fit-up of the ball seal.

Post-assembly, it is not easy to check alignment of ball with sleeve. This is significant to reduce fatigue and avoid premature failure. A CT scan can also determine if there are any foreign objects or debris, which could cause inefficient running of the vehicle.

Going further up on the injector, the mechanics for pulsating the injector can be seen. A CT scan can help to inspect the fitment and function of the spring or magnet. Finally, the electronic components are at the top of the injector. To identify solder or broken bonds, the inside can be seen while it is still potted in the system.

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by North Star Imaging, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit North Star Imaging, Inc.

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