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Crank Shaft

Definisi kondisi kerja crank shaft:

Poros engkol (bahasa Inggris: crankshaft, biasanya mekanik juga menyebutnya kruk as)
adalah sebuah bagian pada mesin yang mengubah gerak vertikal/horizontal dari piston menjadi
gerak rotasi (putaran). Untuk mengubahnya, sebuah crankshaft membutuhkan pena engkol
(crankpin), sebuah bearing tambahan yang diletakkan di ujung batang penggerak pada setiap
Ruang engkol (crankcase) akan dihubungkan ke roda gila (flywheel) atau roda mobil sehingga
mobil bisa bergerak.

Busting Cranks and Twisting Frames: An OMG Engines! Vibration Supplement

Photo credit Mike Lippeth

The 1960 Impala above illustrates just what kind of torque an engine can
develop. While the frame must support torque generated by combustion
alone, it also has to absorb a range of other forces generated from the
rotating and reciprocating components as they sling themselves around the
crankcase. In this post, I am going to describe the physics behind this
vibration and what it means to both engineers and gearheads.

There Are Forces at Work You Can Possibly Imagine

When you break it down to its simplest level, any reciprocating machine
generates vibration that is transmitted throughout the engine as a whole.
This energy is absorbed by the engine mounts and frame while also creating
torsional oscillations in the crank shaft and other shafting. These forces are
generated by constantly changing accelerations of rotating and reciprocating
mass and by the periodic forces imposed on components by the combustion
process itself.
Now we start to hit the really dry stuff. Be sure you have a cup of coffee.
Here is a lolcat to look at before you dig in. Please reference this figure if
any of the below starts to sound boring or repetitive.

Image from

To begin, imagine an upright single-cylinder engine (below.) As the piston

travels up and down there must be upward and downward force acting upon
it, reacted through the connecting rod and crank mains to the block. These
forces are of equal magnitude and oppose each other. This up and down

oscillation of the moving components creates a vibration along the vertical

axis of the engine.
The crank arm and big end of the connecting rod sling back and forth in the
lateral direction creating a horizontal imbalance, visible as a side-to-side
vibration in the engine block itself. In the longitudinal direction, there are no
inertia forces generated by the reciprocating components as this fore-to-aft
axis is perpendicular to the plane of rotation.

Since we have described the inertial forces in three perpendicular directions,

the system can be described by a single vector equation, where the
longitudinal component is zero. Remembering Newtons First Law, F=ma, we
can see that the force generated by this oscillation is proportional to the
mass and acceleration of the rotating components.
The force generated by these rotating components must be balanced by a
reaction force on the engine block, which will vibrate as a function of this
force and its own mass. Thus, a block with fifty times the mass of the
rotating components will experience two percent of the acceleration
experienced by the rotating mass, while experiencing forces of the same
Inertial force alone can create not only a vertical and lateral vibration, but
can create moments that tend to rock the engine as well. Consider my
quickly-drawn two cylinder engine below.

While piston one is being pushed upward, it creates a downward force on the
crankshaft illustrated in the Free Body Diagram (FBD) below it. At the same
time, piston two is being pulled down. This force couple is balanced, so there
is no net acceleration, but there is an oscillating moment generated about
(and within) the crank, which must be balanced by the engine block and
manifests visibly as a rocking motion about the lateral axis (side view.)
Similarly, the lateral motion of the big end of the rod and the crank pins
create an oscillating force pair that creates a changing moment in the crank.
From the outside of the engine, this is seen as a rocking about the engines
vertical axis. While moments about these axes are generated by force
couples, rocking motion about the crankshaft axis occurs even in a singlecylinder engine as an alternating inertia torque generated by varying piston
If the engine is mounted rigidly to a frame (which can create concerns
especially with fatigue failure) the reactive force is accommodated by the
frame. Conversely, the engine can be mounted on a material that allows the
engine to move, (or floating in space, for that matter.) In this case, the force
created by the rotating mass is balanced by an acceleration of the engine
block itself (called floating power.) In reality, stiffness of these mounts is
dictated by packaging constraints, overall forces the mounts must handle,
allowable compliance/movement and NVH considerations, which I will
exemplify later.

Force diagram of a typical piston-rod-crank assembly

The next thing to consider is the effect of combustion on the mass of the
engine. As discussed in my Rotation, Rotation, Rotation post, the pressure of
combustion creates a downward force on the piston, which is reacted by the
connecting rod at some angle to the crankshaft and thus engine block (Q).
The rod is a two-force member and induces some lateral force on the piston
thrust face (S, where S = F tan) which is also balanced by the crank mains
(a force couple, just like Q) Thus, the compression force in the connecting
rod is greater than the force acting on the piston alone when is non-zero
(Q=F/cos, where cos is always <=1).The friction force also creates a
rocking moment of the piston in the bore, which accelerates wear especially
in short-skirt piston designs.
The net result of this combustion force on the engine as a whole is only a
single output torque (Qx) all lateral and horizontal forces are balanced
within the system, but the rotational torque about the crankshaft is not
balanced, resulting in a net torque acting on the engine as a whole. This
torque is what spins wheels and twists frames.
In order to reduce the magnitudes of all the inertial forces at work we can
balance the engine. This balance begins with the design of the crankshaft.
By adding counterweights opposite the crank pins, these lateral and vertical
inertial forces and moments can at least in part be balanced. There are far
better illustrations than I could make of how to draw vector diagrams
describing these forces and moments, specifically in the text Mechanical
Vibrations by J. P. Den Hartog, which has served as my primary reference in
this post. Also relevant for engine theory is Advanced Engine Technology by
Heisler, which I have inadvertently donated to OUs FSAE team at some
point. What it boils down to however is that some engine configurations are
more balanced than others, due to the reciprocating motion of multiple
For example, a four-cylinder flat-plane four-stroke engine (say that five
times fast!) has balanced primary forces and moments, while secondary
forces and moments are unbalanced. An inline-six has all forces and
moments balanced Inline 6s are known for their smooth operation and
longevity. BMW, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, and other luxury marques have used
inline 6s to great success because they develop excellent torque and power
very smoothly, befitting a luxury brand. Inline 8s are also completely
balanced, and have no odd-order driveline harmonics present in inline 6s
due to an even number of power strokes.

The Buick Fireball 8 was an inline 8 configuration engine produced from 1931 to 1953. It utilized overhead valves and ranged from 221 to
345 cubic inches, carrying a maximum power rating of 189hp @ 3800 RPM in 1952, but was subsequently replaced by Buicks more
powerful and more robust Nailhead V8. Photo credit Cris Brown.

This brings up an important consideration about fatigue. Given that the

forces acting on the crankshaft are high and cyclic in nature, increasing the
length of the crankshaft also increases the magnitude of the induced
moments, and while they are balanced, they still exist as an internal
moment within the crankshaft. It applies to torsional moments as well. While
some of the vibrations that twist the crankshaft can be mitigated by use of
an elastomer-bonded weight or fluid filled harmonic damper, by lengthening
the crankshaft it suffers more angular deformation, which in long inline
engines typically manifests as fatigue cracking near the rear main bearing
journal, since the driving torque from combustion is reacted through the rear
of the crankshaft to the wheels. This raises practical issues on reliability and
longevity. These considerations contribute to the widespread adoption of the
V8 in the 1950s.
So far I havent mentioned much about boxer engines or balance shaft
engines, but for the sake of brevity I will mention them quickly. Some
engines utilize balance shafts, which are geared to the crankshaft and allow
for additional inertial balancing without increasing the mass of the crankshaft
itself. This can aid in packaging in some cases, and balance shafts are used
in many engines successfully. Boxer engines (horizontally opposed) typically
have favorable balance characteristics due to the opposed nature of the
pistons, but generate rocking moments about the vertical axis. They also
take up a lot of space and often duplicate components like cylinder heads,
camshafts, and gearing compared to inline versions with the same number
of cylinders.

So Now You Have To Build It

These topics are important when designing connecting rods and considering
tolerances and oil pressure specifications in order to prevent part breakage
and minimize wear. Every design parameter is of critical importance. It is an
engineering challenge to reduce weight, maintain acceptable geometry, and
still maintain a sufficient torsional strength, whether through the marvel of
Finite Element Analysis or simple hand calculations.
Designing proper counterweights or balance shafts can be done with hand
calculations, but in another fantastic deus ex machina, the computer comes
to the rescue with solid modeling programs that can effectively predict mass
and inertial properties before a component is ever manufactured, reducing
testing and redesigning. This also allows designers to consider resonant
modes in the crankshaft as illustrated below.

For some more interesting pictures see the Abaqus blog.

This applies to car frames as well. All of the net forces and moments
generated by an engine must be reacted by the frame of the vehicle.
Achieving satisfactory torsional rigidity is much easier with computer
simulation and FEA, but as illustrated by the headline graphic, addition of
gross amounts of horsepower to a frame that was wet-noodle rigid from the
factory can lead to entertainingly and crowd-pleasingly large amounts of

frame flex, but cause performance and durability to suffer. It is necessary to

design any vehicle whether OEM or race-spec to fulfill design intents and
For the hobbyist, choosing rods, pistons, and crankshafts is typically less
involved. There are aftermarket offerings and OEM offerings; custom
designed crankshafts, pistons are typically in the realm of professionally
sponsored racing vehicles. When it comes to assembling your hot rod, you
dont always need the fanciest billet components, and stock components can
be often be reused, inspected, or modified to achieve horsepower and
reliability goals. There is also something to be said for reuse of seasoned
components they have proved they are free from blatant material defect
and as long as they are still in spec, they are perfectly good to use again.

Some, however, are not reusable.

Balancing is another matter. The engine designer decides how the engine will
be balanced. The crankshaft counterweights in a typical American V8 are
near the proper amount to achieve balance. Variations in components
masses may necessitate a small change in the counterweight mass. To
achieve this, all pistons and rods are milled to reduce the mass of every
component to that of the lightest respective component. The crankshaft is
then dynamically balanced on a machine with the flywheel and harmonic
dampener (which themselves contain counterweights,) and all
counterweights are successively milled until a good balance is achieved. This
is called external balance.
Because they are not designed as internally balanced engines, an American
V8 can retrofitted using heavy metals embedded in the crankshaft
counterweights. This replaces the additional balance mass typically provided
by the flywheel and harmonic dampener counterweights. By moving this
mass from the end of the crankshaft to a position closer to the revolving and

reciprocating mass, internal stresses in the crankshaft and rocking moments

are reduced and the engine runs more smoothly overall. However, this is
expensive and requires a lot of machine work to retrofit, so it is typically
reserved for race engines.
The inertial torque it requires to angularly accelerate the rotating assembly
is a function of mass. Thusly, decreasing the mass of all rotating components
not only reduces the magnitude of the inertial forces generated within them,
but also reduces the rotational moment of inertia and the inertial torque
required for angular acceleration of the components. This effect is the reason
crankshaft lightening, aluminum/CFRP driveshafts and aluminum flywheels
are present on high-end or race-modified cars. The lower the rotational
moment of inertia of any driven component, the more torque gets to the
wheels. Again Im going to go on about tradeoffs you wouldnt design a
part so light it breaks, and more mass in the rotating assembly smoothes
power delivery and reduces vibration.
The vibration reacted to the frame can be severe. When we switched from a
Honda F4i four-cylinder to an Aprilia V-twin, the unbalanced primary forces
of the Aprilia coupled with the larger variations in torque output created
incredible vibrations. We attempted to mitigate this for the sake of driver
comfort with rubber bushings, but even with the stiffest rubber the mount
flexed enough for chain tension to slacken, which added chain chatter to the
destructive forces.
In fact, even after switching to aluminum bushings (much to the driver's
spine's dismay,) the torque loading of the engine was sufficient to plastically
deform the engine mounts, reducing chain tension and causing a nasty
torque pulsation. This design failure on our part was due to a gross
underestimation of the shock loading of driveline components and poor load
path considerations when designing the engine mount - a more thorough
investigation would have kept our tube frame from deforming to the point
where it required cutting and welding additional tubes to support the motor.
If we had focused on systems engineering and not designed the frame
simply for torsional rigidity, this issue would have never occurred.
We slapped a video camera on to observe deflection. Note the marks on the header tube where the diff previously impacted.

Every component can be optimized in some fashion and in any case design
work is a compromise, from how much money you want to pay the engineer
to reduce piston mass to what alloy is sufficiently strong and cheap for your
crankshaft, the list goes on and on. There are volumes written about project

management and goal-setting. This is something that programs like FSAE

are terrific at teaching, you have to not only design a race car, but find the
money to pay for it, set goals and deadlines to be met, and sacrifice the
three grams of weight you could have saved in order to assemble your car
with time for testing.

Vibration is one of the most destructive forces to machinery (other than Vin
Diesel,) leading to fatigue failures with less-than-obvious causes. While this
post is only written on the most general level, it should serve as a
springboard to more in-depth investigation, and just in writing it I have
learned a lot more than when I started.
References and Interesting links:
Bosch Automotive Handbook by Robert Bosch
Advanced Engine Technology by Heinz Heisler
Mechanical Vibrations by J. P. Den Hartog