The engine is a very important part of all types of machinery. The engine provides the power for the machine to run smoothly and efficiently. But the engine alone cannot perform all its activities. Some external parts are attached to the engine to support its functioning. One of those important parts is the flywheel. The flywheel attached to the engine crankshaft helps store power and run the engine faster. It is simply a hard disc with a blade-like structure.
The amount of energy the flywheel stores depends upon its size, structure, and shape. So, the specific size of the flywheel is selected for proper engine functioning.
You will be surprised to learn that the flywheel’s basic working principle is the same as the automatic batteries. Yes, it is right; it stores energy like an automatic battery. When the engine produces more energy, it stores it as kinetic energy.
Another important aspect is that the lighter the flywheel, the more energy it can store. So always use a lighter flywheel to make the engine more powerful. But sometimes, heavy vehicles can’t use lighter flywheels. In that case, do not be exhausted but try to use the best weight wheel according to the vehicle.
Functions of the flywheel in an engine:
An engine cannot run efficiently without a flywheel, even if it is a vehicle’s engine or a dying machine. Every engine works with a large disc having sharp bristles known as flywheels for continuous power output. The flywheel is efficient at storing the energy produced by the engine. If it provides the energy to the engine on demand, save energy when low power is required.
On the other hand, low power from the main source flywheel also protects the main engine motor from spark and provides the required energy. Hence, it also works as a stabilizer to protect the engine.
The storage of energy is not only the function of the flywheel. It also improves the fuel efficiency of the engine. Save the extra power when there is more supply than demand.
The flywheel plays a major role in running vehicles smoothly. Reduce the friction and make your ride comfortable.
The electric starter is the major function of the flywheel in the engine. You can easily start your engine with a button without any kick. The starting motor’s ability to turn the engine over is due to its ability to force a gear into a mesh with teeth at the flywheel’s outer rim.
The flywheel also regulates speed. The speed of any engine is an important factor in measuring its efficiency. And the flywheel maintains the speed by storing the power and providing it at the right time.
The rotation of the engine’s shaft results in the engine’s high vibration, which is not good for proper functioning. The flywheel counteracts the vibrations of the engine through its heavy mass rotation. That increases the engine’s efficiency and reduces the breakdown of different parts due to high vibration.
The flywheel has main importance whenever we discuss the parts of the engine. If you want to improve the efficiency of your machine, especially your car, you should focus on the size and type of the flywheel.
According to studies and different types of experiments, it is clear that lighter wheels have more energy-storing capacity. So they can work more efficiently as compared to the heavier flywheel.
With each “stroke” being 180 degrees or one-half turn of the crankshaft, nearly all vehicle engines in recent years—and for the majority of the last century—are four-stroke designs. Out of the four strokes, the power stroke inspires the crankshaft to rotate (the others being intake, compression, power, and exhaust).
The rising piston’s compression of the air-fuel combination in the stroke before it places a weight (or resistance to turning) on the crankshaft, whereas the crankshaft essentially coasts through the exhaust and intake strokes.
Without a flywheel to even things out, the crankshaft would therefore slow down during the compression stroke, accelerate rapidly during the power stroke, coast through the exhaust and intake strokes, and then repeat the process. Unequal power distribution and a sizable quantity of vibration would result from this.
During a whole rotation, you would probably be able to exert more force at some points than at others if you were turning a rotating shaft with a crank handle.
However, the rotational momentum of a hefty flywheel would help you rotate the shaft at a more constant speed if it were attached to the end of the shaft. Also, even after you release the handle, its momentum will continue to move the shaft.
Which type of flywheel is best for you depends on your engine needs. Choose the best flywheel type mentioned here according to your engine design and requirements.
Simple solid disk flywheels are generally used in machines such as thrashers. Solid disk flywheels are designed considering the mass amount of inertia for proper functioning. Solid disk flywheels are divided into two types based on the stresses used. Radial or tangential stress is mostly used.
If you want to increase the velocity of the flywheel, then a high-velocity flywheel is best for you. Very high-powered levitation bearings are used in this flywheel type to increase the engine’s velocity and its lightweight, enhancing its proficiency compared to other flywheels.
Remind Flywheels are also very popular nowadays, mainly consisting of four to six arms.
The main structure of the rimmed flywheel consists of an outer ring, the main hub, and arms. Moreover, they are usually lighter and have high energy storage abilities.
If you have a low budget and require a flywheel for your machine, you can move toward the low-velocity flywheel. It has a low velocity compared to other flywheel types but can work properly to run your machine’s engine.
Are you looking for a flywheel for your diesel engine? Then the most recommended flywheel is the dual-mass flywheel. Its advantages include high storage capacity, low noise and vibration, increased fuel efficiency, and many more.
Machines always help to reduce human effort. In the same way, a flywheel helps you to enhance the engine’s functionality, but along with this, many problems arise due to the use of the flywheel. They understand these problems, and fixing them before severe damage is important.
Contamination in the flywheel is the most important and common problem. Sometimes oil, grease, water, or dust particles are trapped in the different main parts of the flywheel. Results reduce the efficiency of the engine as well as lowering the energy storage level of the flywheel.
With time, different hoses and gaskets are broken down, resulting in oil leakage or any other type of gas. Toxic gases or fluids can be harmful to one’s health. So it is necessary to inspect the flywheel regularly, especially when it is old.
Many other issues may occur using the flywheel, such as clutch slippage, more vibration on applying acceleration, or any crack in the flywheel. But these problems are rare because flywheels are mostly made up of very strong material. So, you can use it for a long time with proper inspection regularly.