Cars / Cylinder-Heads
Head of an internal combustion engine
In an internal combustion engine, the cylinder head (hereinafter, abbreviated “head”) sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block. This forms the cylinder combustion chamber, sealing the cylinder block and head gasket going through. In most engines, the head also provides a path (or channels) to be submitted in the air and fuel into the cylinder.
The head can be a place to mount valves, spark plugs, glow plugs and fuel injectors. In sidevalve or flathead engines, all mechanical parts are mounted within the block and head. This simplification avoids moving parts in the head and eases manufacture and repair of this type of engine. This design, however, requires the incoming air to flow in a more complicated way, which limits the ability of the engine to run at higher rpm.
This lead to the adoption of air valves in the head and the added camshaft. Inside the cylinder head there are passages that move fuel and air mixtures through the valve inlet and reach the manifold exhaust before leading to the external exhaust. In liquid-cooled engines, the cylinder head also contains integral ducts and passages in which there liquid coolant, the content is usually a mixture of water and antifreeze to allow removal of excess accumulated heat of the engine.
The number of cylinder heads is dependent on the configuration of the engine. Almost all inline engines now use the cylinder head principal. V type engines have two cylinder heads, one in each block of the engine. Radial engines have one head for each cylinder, although this is usually a monoblock form in which the head is made an integral part of the cylinder.
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