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Inlet & Exhaust Valves & Actuating Mechanism

Inlet and exhaust valves play an important role in the gas exchange process of 2-stroke and 4-stroke internal combustion engine. Inlet and exhaust valves of medium speed engines are subject to severe operating conditions. Inlet valves do not generally present any serious problems as they are cooled by incoming charge air. However, exhaust valves are subjected to higher temp and their life is limited by deposits and high temp corrosion from sodium & vanadium compounds. It is very important to keep valve seat temp below 450 oC.

Function of cylinder head valves (inlet & exh)
Working condition of cylinder head valves Design features Construction features Problems of exhaust valve Factors influencing exhaust valve life Valve actuating mechanism

Valve maintenance

Why 4-stroke Engine has Multiple Valves ?

Multiple valves are employed to give larger valve areas

than single valve

Larger valve areas allow larger gas flow and better flow pattern Improve performance of gas exchange process Less back pressure on piston during exh stroke reduces loss of useful work of the crank shaft Heat dissipation problem with single valve (exh)

Mechanically Operated Exhaust Valve



Working Condition of Exh V/V

Passing large volume of burnt gas in short time Working under high temp condition Due to repeated heating and cooling causing thermal stress and possibility of hardening Hot and cold corrosion due to burning HFO of poor quality Valve bouncing and vibration

Valve tampering and wear

Valve Stress
Mechanical stress - at flame face centre in radial direction - at blend radius circumferentially Thermal stress - at valve seat area

Combined stress
- at valve neck

Effect of Stresses
Valve leaking and burning Dishing-in of valve head Crack at centre of flame face Cracks at the seat Valve breakage at neck causing heavy damage


Exh Valve

Exhaust valves
High Temp Undesirable
Reduces volumetric efficiency

Excessive deposits take place

Causes valve burning & valve failure

Exhaust valves
Avoid large valves
Difficult to accommodate

Destroy compactness of combustion chamber

Small inlet valves can induce turbulence Larger the valve, higher will be the temperature

Valves design feature

Valve Diameter
Usually exh v/v diameter is smaller than inlet v/v as it opens against higher pressure

assists in keeping cool

better performance

Exhaust Valve design feature


Inserted v/v seat

v/v spindle v/v guide v/v seat v/v housing

Strength at high temp Good corrosion & erosion resistance High thermal conductivity Machineable Nimonic ( 80% nickel, 20% chrome) valves are used in highly rated engines with stellite seats (50% cobalt, 30% chrome,20% tungsten)

Exhaust Valve Problems

V/V bouncing Seat tampering & wear Hot Corrosion Cold corrosion

Valve Burning

Exhaust Valve Problems

Due to Fuel quality (ignition) Impurities in fuel oil - catalytic fines - S, V, Na compound Combustion

Leaky valve due to seat distortion

Cylinder power in excess of design rating

Factors Accelerate Valve Failure

Mechanical dents
Spallation of salt layer Sealing face corrosion

High Temperature Corrosion Damage of Exhaust Valve

Low Temp Corrosion

Due to the presence of Sulphur in Fuel oil Counter Measures
Correct CW outlet temp

Coating in gas duct

Thicker gas duct wall Cooling water by-pass

High Temp Corrosion

Due to presence of . Sodium Vanadium Which produces corrosive flux at high temp.

Exhaust Valve High Temp Corrosion

High Temp Corrosion

limit fuel oil vanadium concentration
minimise fuel oil and charge air sodium concentration avoid excessive exhaust gas temp. use of Nimonic v/v spindle v/v stem coated with Cermet using HVOF process

v/v lid facing combustion chamber is coated with Inconel 625

Counter Measures
Design Maintenance


Heat shield

Use of seat ring Surface treatment of seat and spindle Limiting v/v temp by efficient bore cooling arrangement Valve rotating device Minimising v/v bouncing by hydraulic operation Heat and corrosion resistance material Efficient scavenging Optimising v/v timing

Exhaust Valve With W-seat

W-seat enables to achieve

lower temp
in the v/v seat and increase v/v life & TBO


Areas requires special attention:
Valve stem Valve seat

Guide bush
Valve cage Coil spring / air spring

Rotocap / vanes
Actuating mechanism

Tappet Clearance
Necessary to allow for thermal expansion of valve spindle at working temperature and ensures positive closing of valve. Clearance should be set at cold condition of engine.

Excessive clearance will cause the valve to open late and close early with reduction of max lift, causing hammering and damage. Insufficient clearance will cause the valve to open early and close late with increased max lift.
It may prevent valve from closing, causing loss of power and v/v burning.

Shrouding of valve

Shrouding occurs due to excessive manual grinding

If v/v is harder than seat, shroud builds up in the seat If seat is harder than the v/v, shrouding occurs in v/v

Normally shroud builds up in both valve & seat

Even small amount of shrouding can seriously affect the air and gas flow across a valve

Different angle of Valve seat and Valve head

Valve Life

Fuel Quality Engine Load Scavenging Turbocharging Engine Power Balancing

Engine Cooling

Valve Actuating Mechanism

rocker arms & push rod double valves may be actuated from a single push rod in several ways
forked rockers (master & slave) twin rockers and a yoke actuating two valves

disadvantage of increased wear on spindle & guide

Valve Actuating Mechanism

Common in X-head engines but used in 4-stroke engines also
Replaces push rod and mechanical coiled spring No transverse thrust results in less guide wear Controlled closing of valve reduces tampering and valve-seat wear Valve rotation by vanes ensures well balanced thermal & mechanical stress and uniform valve seating

Reliable operation
Reduces maintenance cost with increased TBO


Valve Rotation
Prolongs valve life

Minimises risk of local overheating and valve distortion

Prevents deposits and built up of vanadium on the valve seat Prevents hammering on the same spot Valve rotation is achieved by: Rotocap Unit Valve Stem Spinner

Rotocap Valve Rotator

Indication of Leaky Valve

High Exhaust temperature High CW temperature Hissing Noise Low Pcom and Pmax Smoky exhaust

T/C surging in extreme case