A production distributor-type fuel-injection system for diesel engines has been extensively investigated via computer-assisted simulation and experimentation. The investigation was mainly aimed at assessing and validating a sophisticated computational model of the system, developed with specific attention given to the pump and to some important aspects concerning the injection pressure simulation, such as the dynamic effects of the injector needle lift, the flow unsteadiness, and compressibility effects on the nozzle-hole discharge coefficient. The pump delivery assembly was provided with a valve of the reflux type. This presented a flat in the collar, forming a return-flow restriction with the seat, and had no retraction piston. A single-spring injector, with a reduced sac volume, was fitted to the system. The numerical analysis of transient flow phenomena linked to the mechanical unit dynamics, including possible cavitation occurrence in the system, was performed using an implicit finite-difference algorithm, previously set up for in-line injection equipment. Particular care was exercised in modeling the distributor pump so as to match the dynamics of the delivery-valve assembly to the pressure wave propagation in the distributor and its outlets. The so-called minor losses were also taken into account and it was ascertained that sudden expansion and contraction losses were significant for the type of pump examined. The experimental investigation was performed on a test bench at practical pump speeds. Pressures were measured in the pumping chamber, at two different pipe locations, and upstream to the needle seat opening passage. This last measurement was taken in order to evaluate the nozzle-hole flow coefficient with the support of the simulation, using experimental values of the needle lift, injection rate, and injected fuel quantity as known variables. The numerical and experimental results were compared and discussed, showing the validity of the model. The injection pressure time history and the influence of the delivery return-flow restriction on the system performance were numerically examined.

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