Optical study of knocking phenomenon in a spark-ignition engine by using high-speed OH* chemiluminescence imaging: A multiple ignition sites approach

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6 Scopus citations


Knock in a spark-ignition (SI) engine is a complicated combustion phenomenon that stimulates high-pressure oscillations inside the combustion chamber and restricts engine performance. This study presents a high-speed OH* chemiluminescence imaging technique to investigate the knock mechanism resulting from firing multiple spark plugs. The experiment was performed using a customized liner having three spark plugs installed at equal spacing, and to compare the results with conventional SI conditions, in which one spark plug was mounted at the center of the cylinder head. In addition, multiple pressure transducers were used at various locations to record the frequencies induced by the pressure oscillations inside the cylinder during knocking events. The results showed that firing a single central spark plug generated mild knock with late combustion phasing and lower power output. However, adding more spark plugs could advance the initiation of autoignition and produce higher knock intensity along with lower combustion duration for the same operating conditions. Additionally, a weak OH* chemiluminescence intensity oscillation was monitored before the autoignition of the unburned charge occurred. The crank angle location of peak OH* intensity and peak HRR showed a good linear curve fit with a positive slope. Furthermore, the larger amount of unburned mass fraction produced stronger pressure waves due to multiple autoignition sites, and the unburned mass fraction exhibited a good linear relationship with unburned temperature and end-gas area at the knock onset point. Moreover, the frequency spectrum recorded by the multiple pressure sensors illustrated that in the case of a single central spark plug only circumferential acoustic waves were formed with low power intensity. However, multiple ignition sites promoted both circumferential and radial pressure waves inside the combustion chamber because of multiple autoignitions occurring both near the center and cylinder wall.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146808742311662
JournalInternational Journal of Engine Research
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-04
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): URF/1/3710-01-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by competitive research funding (URF/1/3710-01-01) from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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