Sciences: The McMaster Engine: An Engine for Our Time
In this time of expensive gasoline, any gains in fuel usage efficiency can only be taken so far using ordinary Otto-cycle engines as found in most cars. What is needed is a more efficient engine. Engines with complicated arrangements of cranks, cams and pistons have a lot of moving parts: parts which induce friction, parts which have to be cooled and lubricated, parts which can easily fail. Enter the McMaster Engine...
The McMaster Engine is the invention of one Harold McMaster
(new window), who has created a radically different take on an internal combustion engine. His engine design
(new window), also known as a "wobble engine", is based around the concept of a "nutating disk", which is essentially a round steel disk, mounted at an angle on a shaft, which wobbles back and forth under pressure from the expanding fuel mixture burning (much the same as a piston being pushed down from the expanding gases in a cylinder on a conventional engine). This occurs inside a round chamber in which the disk and shaft is mounted. As the mixture burns and expands (in each chamber half), it pushes on the disk. In order to allow the expansion to occur, the disk has to rotate. This action turns the shaft, which also expels the exhaust from the opposite half of the chamber (which presumably had already fired). The following animation illustrates this action:
Three main moving parts (the shaft, the disk, and valves, which are electronically controlled), replacing a large number of parts and weight in a comparable standard Otto-cycle engine. Not to mention the fact that the engine can be run on multiple fuels, including externally generated steam!
A true engine for our times...
The McMaster Engine (new window)