Best of Web | Alex Kelling

Best of Web | Alex Kelling

This still image is a from Destin Sandlin’s video titled “How Does A Carburetor Work? | Transparent Carburetor at 28,546 fps Slow Mo – Smarter Every Day 259”. In this video, Destin, known from his YouTube channel named SmarterEveryDay, builds a simple carburetor to observe the physics and design of how carburetor uses fluid flow to vaporize gasoline and mix it with air. Destin’s see-through carburetor is observed using a high-speed camera. The still image above shows the moment gasoline is drawn into the Venturi from its storage container, the bowl, due to pressure changes caused by the shape of the venturi. Moments after this, the intake stroke of the piston draws in air through the carburetor, sucking this gasoline into the air and vaporizing it. This fuel-air mixture is then fed into the cylinder of an internal combustion engine where it is ignited.

The close-up image shows the curves of the venturi. The venturi is a constricted throat in the carburetor causing a reduction in pressure as air flows in, from left to right in this particular instance. The air flow into the system is controlled by the choke, a valve that limits the intake of air into the venturi. The choke is on the intake on the left outside of the frame. Less air means the ratio of fuel will be higher in the fuel-air mixture entering the engine. This rich mixture is beneficial when start the engine. More air means a leaner mixture. To the right of the venturi, there is another valve, called the throttle. This controls how much fuel-air mixture enters the cylinder. While the choke controls the ratio, the throttle controls the amount. Closing the throttle blocks off the entrance of the fuel-air mixture to the engine. Opening the throttle allows more fuel-air mixture to the engine, allowing the engine to run faster.

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As an engineer who is not automotively inclined, this type of see-through visualization of the fluid flows helps me to understand how engines work. his mixture is then fed into the cylinders of an internal combustion engine where it is ignited. Destin also has videos with a clear cylinder head to see how pistons interact with the fuel-air mixture and the combustion that happens. The fluid flow principles can be clearly explained when seen in action. Although not designed to be art, the engines around us provide a great opportunity to visualize flow in both an artistic and practical sense.

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