(19)
(11)EP 3 173 596 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
01.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/14

(21)Application number: 15196302.2

(22)Date of filing:  25.11.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F02B 19/12  (2006.01)
H01T 13/54  (2006.01)
H01T 13/32  (2006.01)

(54)

PRE-COMBUSTION CHAMBER ASSEMBLY FOR INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES

VORVERBRENNUNGSKAMMERANORDNUNG FÜR VERBRENNUNGSMOTOREN

ENSEMBLE CHAMBRE DE PRÉCOMBUSTION POUR MOTEURS À COMBUSTION INTERNE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
31.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/22

(73)Proprietor: Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH
68167 Mannheim (DE)

(72)Inventor:
  • SCHÄFER, Friedrich
    67480 Edenkoben (DE)

(74)Representative: BRP Renaud & Partner mbB Rechtsanwälte Patentanwälte Steuerberater 
Königstraße 28
70173 Stuttgart
70173 Stuttgart (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2008/031482
WO-A1-2014/094808
WO-A2-2011/031991
DE-A1- 19 819 197
WO-A1-2013/120632
WO-A1-2014/177169
DE-A1- 3 025 926
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to a pre-combustion chamber assembly for internal combustion engines, and particularly to a pre-combustion chamber assembly including an ignition electrode and utilized in gaseous fuel internal combustion engines.

    Background



    [0002] It is known to employ a spark ignited pre-combustion chamber assembly (in the following referred to as "pre-chamber assembly) including a pre-combustion chamber (in the following referred to as "pre-chamber") in some internal combustion engine applications, such as gaseous fuel applications. Typically, a pre-chamber is a relatively small gas accumulating chamber located in the pre-chamber assembly or in the engine cylinder head. The pre-chamber is in fluid communication with the main combustion chamber of the internal combustion engine via a number of small flow channels. During operation, an ignition electrode generates a spark for igniting a mixture of gaseous fuel and air within the pre-chamber (as opposed to igniting the gaseous fuel in the main combustion chamber). Ignition of the gaseous fuel in the pre-chamber generates a front of burning fuel which is jetted or otherwise advanced through the flow channels into the main combustion chamber thereby igniting the mixture of gaseous fuel and air therein.

    [0003] It is further known to provide the ignition electrode in a crucial shape. In such case, the ignition electrode may include a plurality of electrode arms extending substantially upright from a connecting section into the interior of the pre-chamber.

    [0004] In the prior art, the manufacturing process of the ignition electrode may include some mechanical manufacturing steps including, for example, cutting a crucial piece out of a metal sheet, bending each electrode arms into the desired shape, and applying a metal coat, such as, for instance, an iridium coat to the bended ignition electrode. However, the mechanical bending process may be limited due to, for example, the material's yield strength and, during operation of the ignition electrode, the electrode arms may break as the bending radius were selected too small for the used material and used material thickness.

    [0005] US 2014/0196684 A1 discloses a spark plug for an internal combustion engine, in particular a gas engine. The spark plug includes a center electrode and at least one earth electrode group, each comprising one or more earth electrode platelets. The center electrode includes at least one center electrode platelet having a center electrode surface, and the center electrode surface is inclined in a range from 0° to 50°, preferably at most 45°, to a cross-sectional plane transverse to the longitudinal axis of the spark plug. Each earth electrode platelet of an earth electrode group has an earth electrode surface facing towards the center electrode surface, spaced apart from the earth electrode surface and running substantially parallel to the earth electrode surface.

    [0006] A pre-chambered type spark plug with pre-chamber entirely below a bottom surface of a cylinder head is known from US 2005/0211217 A1. Further combustion chamber assemblies are known from DE 198 19 197 A1, WO 2014/177169 A1 and WO 2013/120632 A1.

    [0007] The present disclosure is directed, at least in part, to improving or overcoming one or more aspects of prior systems.

    Summary of the Disclosure



    [0008] According to the present disclosure, a pre-chamber assembly for an internal combustion engine is defined in claim 1.

    [0009] Other features and aspects of this disclosure will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0010] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate exemplary embodiments of the disclosure and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the disclosure. In the drawings:

    Fig. 1 is a cut view of an exemplary disclosed pre-chamber assembly including a mass element;

    Fig. 2 is a cut view taken along line II - II of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 3 is a cut view showing an exemplary disclosed embodiment of the mass element of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 4 is a cut view showing a further exemplary disclosed embodiment of the mass element;

    Fig. 5 is a cut view showing a further exemplary disclosed embodiment of the mass element;

    Fig. 6 is a cut view of a further exemplary disclosed pre-chamber assembly.


    Detailed Description



    [0011] The following is a detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure. The exemplary embodiments described therein and illustrated in the drawings are intended to teach the principles of the present disclosure, enabling those of ordinary skill in the art to implement and use the present disclosure in many different environments and for many different applications. Therefore, the exemplary embodiments are not intended to be, and should not be considered as, a limiting description of the scope of patent protection. Rather, the scope of patent protection shall be defined by the appended claims.

    [0012] Within the meaning of the present disclosure, substantially correspondence of the radial inner face of the mass element and the electrode arm means that the radial inner face of the mass element and the electrode arm both have a substantially similar inclination with respect to the longitudinal axis. Specifically, the directions of the inclinations of the radial inner face of the mass element and the electrode arm are substantially similar when seen in a sectional plane extending through the longitudinal axis.

    [0013] Further, within the meaning of the present disclosure, non-parallelism between the longitudinal axis and the radial inner face of the mass element means that the radial inner face of the mass element is at least partially inclined to a cross-sectional plane including the longitudinal axis of the pre-chamber.

    [0014] The present disclosure may be based at least in part on the realization that providing a mass element forming a ground electrode of a spark ignited pre-chamber assembly, wherein the mass element has a radial inner face substantially corresponding to the outer shape of an associated electrode arm of an ignition electrode, may provide defined locations where a spark is generated for reliably igniting an air-fuel-mixture in an internal combustion engine.

    [0015] The present disclosure may be further based at least in part on the realization that forming the ignition electrode out of, for instance, a noble metal such as Iridium, Platinum, Osmium, or any alloys thereof, may lead to less wear of the ignition electrode and, thus, may enhance the lifetime of the pre-chamber assembly.

    [0016] The present disclosure is further based at least in part on the realization that providing the mass element with mass protrusions substantially following the outer shape of associated electrode arms may lead to a more uniform wear at both the mass protrusion and the associated electrode arm during operation of the pre-chamber assembly.

    [0017] In the course of development, it has been found out that, for example, Iridium as a material for the electrode arms may have higher melting point than, for example, Platinum. In such case, however, wear of the electrode and/or electrode arms may be less than wear of the corresponding mass element which may be usually formed out of, for instance, a Nickel alloy. Therefore, higher wear of the mass element may lead to material recesses and, thus, would increase a spark gap between the mass element and the electrode arm made of, for example, Iridium. When exceeding a predetermined threshold, proper generation of a spark between the mass element and the electrode arm made of Iridium may no longer be ensured. The exemplary disclosed pre-chamber assembly may overcome said drawbacks.

    [0018] Referring now to the drawings, an exemplary embodiment of a pre-chamber assembly 60 used in an internal combustion engine, such as, for instance, a gaseous fuel internal combustion engine, for supporting a combustion event within main combustion chambers (not shown) of the internal combustion engine is illustrated in Fig. 1. Although the present pre-chamber assembly 60 is described with respect to a gaseous fuel internal combustion engine, the exemplary disclosed pre-chamber assembly 60 may be used in connection with any internal combustion engine requiring a device supporting in igniting an air-fuel-mixture with the main combustion chambers.

    [0019] As shown in Fig. 1, the pre-chamber assembly 60 includes a pre-combustion chamber main body (in the following referred to as "pre-chamber main body) 62 and a pre-combustion chamber cap (in the following referred to as "pre-chamber cap) 70 attached to the pre-chamber main body 62. The pre-chamber main body 62 includes a threaded portion 64 configured to engage with a threaded portion of a cylinder head of the internal combustion engine.

    [0020] Both the pre-chamber main body 62 and the pre-chamber cap 70 may be formed by casting. In an exemplary embodiment, the pre-chamber main body 62 and the pre-chamber cap 70 may be formed by, for instance, casting and may consist of a material having a high thermal and mechanical stress resistance, such as, for example, a chrome-nickel alloy.

    [0021] The pre-chamber main body 62 and the pre-chamber cap 70 are disposed about a longitudinal axis 90 and include a substantially cylindrical cross-section. The pre-chamber main body 62 defines a first portion 68 of a pre-chamber 66. The pre-chamber cap 70 defines a second portion 69 of the pre-chamber 66. The first portion 68 and the second portion 69 are in fluid communication with each other.

    [0022] An ignition electrode 80 may extend along the longitudinal axis 90 and includes a center electrode 85 having a center electrode end 81 protruding at least partially into the first portion 68 of the pre-chamber 66. The ignition electrode 80 further includes at least one electrode arm 82 extending from the center electrode end 81 in both at least a radial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis 90 and an axial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis 90. That is the at least one electrode arm 82 has a component extending in the radial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis 90 and a component extending in the axial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis 90. The at least one electrode arm 82 includes a distal end portion 86 and a proximal end portion 87 configured to be attached to a connecting section 88 that is attached to the center electrode 85 via, for instance, welding. In some embodiments, the electrode arms 82 may be integrally formed with the center electrode 85.

    [0023] The pre-chamber assembly 60 further includes a mass element 100 mounted to the pre-chamber main body 62, such that the mass element 100 circumferentially extends about the electrode arms 82. The mass element 100 includes at least one radial inner face 104 facing the at least one electrode arm 82. According to the invention, as indicated in two-dot-dashed lines in Fig. 1, the mass element 100 includes a plurality of mass protrusions 102 each extending radially inward towards an associated electrode arm 82. In the example shown in Fig. 1, the ignition electrode 80 includes four electrode arms 82. Thus, the mass element 100 includes four mass protrusions 102 each associated with one of the electrode arms 82. However, in some further embodiments, the number of electrode arms 82 and the number of mass protrusions 102 may be unequal four, such as, for instance, one, two, three, or more than four. In some further embodiments, the number of electrode arms 82 may not correspond to the number of mass protrusions 102. For instance, there may be more or less electrode arms 82 than mass protrusions 102. For example, there may be two electrode arms 82 associated with a common mass protrusion 102.

    [0024] The mass element 100 forms a ground electrode for the ignition electrode 80. The ignition electrode 80 is electrically connected to an engine control unit (not shown) and may be configured to generate a spark between the electrode arms 82 and the associated mass protrusion 102 upon an electric signal provided by the engine control unit via the center electrode 85.

    [0025] As indicated in Fig. 1, the electrode arms 82 which may form a unit are connected via, for instance, a weld 83 to the center electrode 85. The center electrode 85 is supported by an insulator 50, such as, for example, a ceramic insulator. For example, the weld 83 may be a laser beam weld, a friction weld, an electronic beam weld, or any other weld suitable for attaching the electrode arms 82 to the center electrode 85.

    [0026] The pre-chamber cap 70 comprises a connecting portion 72 and a nozzle portion 74. The connecting portion 72 is configured to be inserted into a receiving portion 65 of the pre-chamber main body 62. As shown in Fig. 1, the connecting portion 72 and the receiving portion 65 have a cylindrical shape substantially corresponding to one another, such that the connecting portion 72 of the pre-chamber cap 70 at least partially form-fits into the receiving portion 65 of the pre-chamber main body 62.

    [0027] The pre-chamber cap 70 is fixedly attached to the pre-chamber main body 62 by means of welding, such as, for example, laser beam welding. It is understood that the beam weld circumferentially extends around the entire flange formed between the bottom end of the pre-chamber main body 62 and a shoulder 71 of the nozzle portion 74 of the pre-chamber cap 70.

    [0028] As further indicated in Fig. 1, the pre-chamber cap 70 comprises an inner surface 75 forming the second portion 69 of the pre-chamber 66. The inner surface 75 includes a bottom portion having a generally convex funnel-like shape.

    [0029] The pre-chamber cap 70 includes an outer surface 73 configured to at least partially extend into a main combustion chamber of the internal combustion engine. The pre-chamber cap 70 includes at least one flow channel 109 disposed at the nozzle portion 74. Specifically, the at least one flow channel 109 is configured to fluidly connect the pre-chamber 66 with an associated main combustion chamber. It is further preferred that the at least one flow channel 109 fluidly connects the pre-chamber 66 at the bottom portion with the associated main combustion chamber.

    [0030] As further illustrated in Fig. 1, each electrode arm 82 includes a longitudinal axis 91 forming an angle α with respect to the longitudinal axis 90. The angle α may range from about 1° to about 20°, such that the distal end portion 86 of each electrode arm 82 is farther away from the longitudinal axis than the proximal end portion 87 of the electrode arm 82. In such case, it may be ensured that the spark may be generated at the spark gap 92 between the distal end portion 86 and the mass protrusion 102, which results in that the electrode arm 82 is worn in a direction from the distal end portion 86 to the proximal end portion 87. Thus, falling off of the electrode arm 82 from the connecting section 88 may be prevented. It should be noted that, in some embodiments, the electrode arms 82 may include any other suitable shape, such that, for example, a bent shape.

    [0031] Referring to Fig. 2, a cut view taken along line II - II of Fig. 1 is illustrated. As can be seen in Fig. 2, the distal end portions 86 of the electrode arms 82 are disposed on a circle extending about the longitudinal axis 90 and are equidistantly spaced apart from one another. Similarly, the mass element 100 includes four mass protrusions 102 disposed about the inner circumference of the substantially annular mass element 100 and equidistantly spaced apart from one another. Each mass protrusion 102 protrudes radially inward towards an associated electrode arm 82 with the spark gap 92 formed therebetween.

    [0032] For example, the spark gap 92 may be in a range from about 0.1 mm to about 2.0 mm, preferably in a range from about 0.2 mm to about 0.8 mm.

    [0033] In the embodiment shown in Fig. 1, each mass protrusion 102 includes a radial inner face 104 facing an associated electrode arm 82. Each electrode arm 82 includes a radial outer face 84 facing the associated mass protrusion 102 with the spark gap 92 formed therebetween. As shown in Fig. 2, the electrode arms 82 each have a substantially rectangular cross-section. Thus, the radial outer faces 84 of the electrode arms 82 are substantially planar. However, in some embodiments, the electrode arms 82 may have any suitable cross-section, such as, for instance, a circular cross-section, an oval cross-section, or a triangular cross-section.

    [0034] Each mass protrusion 102 is configured to have an extension in a circumferential direction equal to or greater than an extension in a circumferential direction of the associated electrode arm 82. That is the radial inner face 104 of the mass protrusion 102 is substantially greater than the radial outer face 84 of the associated electrode arm 82.

    [0035] Referring to Figs. 3 to 5, exemplary shapes of a mass protrusion 102 are illustrated in greater detail. In each of Figs. 3 to 5, for the sake of illustration, the electrode arm 82 is considered to be substantially circular-like bent. However, the electrode arm 82 may have a substantially straight shape and may extend along the longitudinal axis 91 (see Fig. 1).

    [0036] As shown in Fig. 3, the radial inner face 104 of the mass protrusion 102 is substantially planar and inclined with respect to the longitudinal axis 90. Thus, with the bent electrode arm 82, the spark gap 92 is smallest at a middle portion of the electrode arm 82 and the mass protrusion 102, and increases in both directions, i.e. in the direction of the distal end portion 86 of the electrode arm 82 and in the direction of the proximal end portion 87 of the electrode arm 82. However, within the meaning of the present disclosure, the radial inner face 104 of the mass protrusions 102 is considered to substantially correspond to the radial outer face 84 of the electrode arm 82.

    [0037] Referring to Fig. 4, a further exemplary shape of the radial inner face 104 is shown. The radial inner face 104 has a first distance 110 to the distal end portion 86 of the electrode arm 82 and a second distance 112 to the proximal end portion 87 of the electrode arm 82. In Fig. 4, the first distance 110 is equal to the second distance 112, such that the spark gap 92 between the radial inner face 104 and the radial outer face 84 is substantially uniform. For example, the radius of curvature of the radial outer face 84 of the electrode arm 82 may be substantially equal to the radius of curvature of the radial inner face 104 of the mass protrusion 102, with an offset of both elements.

    [0038] To the contrary, regarding Fig. 5, the first distance 110 is smaller than the second distance 112. This may further ensure that sparks are preferably generated at the distal end portions 86 of the electrode arms 82, such that the electrode arm 82 is worn from the distal end portion 86 to the proximal end portion 87. For instance, the radius of curvature of the radial outer face 84 of the electrode arm 82 may be unequal to the radius of curvature of the radial inner face 104 of the mass protrusion 102.

    [0039] In Figs. 3 to 5, exemplary and qualitative wear lines of the electrode arm 82 and the mass protrusion 102 are illustrated in dotted lines and dashed lines, respectively. In Figs. 3 to 5, the dotted lines illustrate the shape of the radial inner face 104 and the shape of the radial outer face 84 after a first operation time of the pre-chamber assembly, whereas the dashed lines illustrate the shape of the radial inner face 104 and the shape of the radial outer face 84 after a second operation time of the pre-chamber assembly 60, with the first operation time being smaller than the second operation time.

    [0040] As can be seen in Fig. 3, and as mentioned above, sparks may be generated at a middle portion of the electrode arm 82 and of the mass protrusion 102 leading to wear at said middle locations, respectively (see dotted lines in Fig. 3). After the second operation time, the wear may increase and may form respective recesses at the electrode arm 82 and the mass protrusion 102, respectively (see dashed lines in Fig. 3). Hence, the electrode arm 82 may be ablated from the middle portion toward both the distal end portion 86 and the proximal end portion 87.

    [0041] With respect to Fig. 6, a further exemplary disclosed pre-chamber assembly 60 is shown. The pre-chamber assembly 60 of Fig. 6 is substantially identical to the pre-chamber assembly 60 of Fig. 1, and differs in that the mass element 100 is integrally formed with the pre-chamber cap 70. Specifically, the pre-chamber cap 70 includes a connecting portion 76 (indicated in two-dot-dashed lines in Fig. 6) for connecting to the mass element 100.

    Industrial Applicability



    [0042] In the following, mounting of the mass ring 100 to the pre-chamber main body 62 is described with respect to Fig. 1, with the ignition electrode 80 already mounted to the pre-chamber main body 62.

    [0043] First, the mass element 100 is inserted into the receiving portion 65 of the pre-chamber main body 62. Then, when approaching the ignition electrode 80, particularly the electrode arms 82, the mass element 100 is, due to the mass protrusions 102 having radial inner faces 104 being inclined with respect to the longitudinal axis 90, rotated until the mass protrusions 102 can pass by the electrode arms 82 (see Fig. 2). In particular, the mass protrusions 102 are rotated such that the electrode arms 82 pass through the circumferential gaps provided between two mass protrusions 102 circumferentially disposed next to one another.

    [0044] When reaching the final mounting position, the mass element 100 is rotated again until each mass protrusion 102 directly faces an associated electrode arm 82, i.e. each radial inner face 104 faces an associated radial outer face 84 (see Fig. 2). Then, in said final assembly position, the mass element 100 is, for instance, laser beam welded to the pre-chamber main body 62. Particularly, the laser beam weld is a circular weld extending about the longitudinal axis 90.

    [0045] In a final assembly step of the pre-chamber assembly 60, the pre-chamber cap 70 is fixed to the pre-chamber main body 62 by, for example, welding.

    [0046] With respect to the embodiment shown in Fig. 6, assembly of the pre-chamber cap 70 including the mass element 100 to the pre-chamber main body 62 is substantially identical to the assembly of the mass element 100, but without the need of an additional weld attaching the mass element 100 to the pre-chamber main body 62.

    [0047] In some embodiments, for supporting generating a spark between the radial inner faces 104 and the radial outer faces 84, and for reducing wear of the mass protrusions, the radial inner faces 104 may be coated with, for instance, Iridium.

    [0048] Although the preferred embodiments of this invention have been described herein, improvements and modifications may be incorporated without departing from the scope of the following claims.


    Claims

    1. A pre-chamber assembly (60) for an internal combustion engine, comprising:

    a pre-chamber main body (62) configured to be mounted to the internal combustion engine and defining at least a portion of a pre-chamber (66) extending along a longitudinal axis (90);

    an ignition electrode (80) including a center electrode (85) and at least one electrode arm (82) extending from the center electrode (85) at least partially into the pre-chamber (66), the at least one electrode arm (82) extending in both at least a radial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis (90) and at least an axial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis (90); and

    a mass element (100) including at least one radial inner face (104) and at least one mass protrusion (102) extending towards the at least one electrode arm (82) and being associated with the at least one electrode arm (82), the at least one mass protrusion (102) including the at least one radial inner face (104),

    wherein the mass element (100) circumferentially extends about the at least one electrode arm (82) and the at least one radial inner face (104) faces the at least one electrode arm (82) and is substantially non-parallel with respect to the longitudinal axis (90), and

    wherein the at least one mass protrusion (102) substantially follows the outer shape of the associated electrode arm (82).


     
    2. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of claim 1, wherein the at least one electrode arm (82) includes a radial outer face (84) with respect to the longitudinal axis (90), the radial inner face (104) of the mass element (100) substantially corresponding to the radial outer face (84) of the at least one electrode arm (82).
     
    3. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of the preceding claims, wherein a spark gap (92) is formed between the radial inner face (104) of the mass element (100) and the at least one electrode arm (82), the spark gap (92) being substantially constant along the axial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis (90).
     
    4. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of claims 1 or 2, wherein a spark gap (92) is formed between the radial inner face (104) of the mass element (100) and the at least one electrode arm (82), the spark gap (92) being variable in the axial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis (90).
     
    5. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of claim 4, wherein a first distance (110) of the spark gap (92) at a distal end portion (86) of the at least one electrode arm (82) is smaller than a second distance (112) of the spark gap (92) at a proximal end portion (87) of the electrode arm (82).
     
    6. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of claims 3 to 5, wherein the spark gap (92) is in a range from about 0.2 mm to about 2.0 mm, preferably in a range from about 0.2 mm to about 0.8 mm.
     
    7. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the radial inner face (104) of the mass element (100) is substantially planar.
     
    8. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of claim 7, wherein the planar radial inner face of the mass element (100) is inclined with respect to the longitudinal axis (90) with an angle (α) being in a range from about 1° to about 20°.
     
    9. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the radial inner face (104) of the mass element (100) is substantially curved.
     
    10. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the mass element is an annular mass ring (100) having an axial extension substantially corresponding to an axial extension of the at least one electrode arm (82).
     
    11. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a pre-chamber cap (70) mounted to the pre-chamber main body (62) and defining a remaining portion of the pre-chamber (66).
     
    12. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of claim 11, wherein the pre-chamber cap (70) is integrally formed with the mass element (100).
     
    13. The pre-chamber assembly (60) of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one electrode arm (82) is made of Iridium, Platinum, Osmium, or any alloys thereof.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorkammeranordnung (60) für eine Brennkraftmaschine, umfassend:

    einen Vorkammer-Hauptkörper (62), der ausgestaltet ist, um an der Brennkraftmaschine montiert zu werden, und mindestens einen Abschnitt einer Vorkammer (66) definiert, die sich entlang einer Längsachse (90) erstreckt;

    eine Zündelektrode (80) einschließlich einer Mittelelektrode (85) und mindestens eines Elektrodenarms (82), der sich von der Mittelelektrode (85) mindestens teilweise in die Vorkammer (66) erstreckt, wobei der mindestens eine Elektrodenarm (82) sich sowohl in mindestens einer radialen Richtung in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) als auch in mindestens einer axialen Richtung in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) erstreckt; und

    ein Masseelement (100) mit mindestens einer radialen Innenfläche (104) und mindestens einem Massevorsprung (102), der sich zu dem mindestens einen Elektrodenarm (82) hin erstreckt und zu dem mindestens einen Elektrodenarm (82) gehörig ist, wobei der mindestens eine Massevorsprung (102) die mindestens eine radiale Innenfläche (104) einschließt,

    wobei sich das Masseelement (100) in Umfangsrichtung um den mindestens einen Elektrodenarm (82) erstreckt und die mindestens eine radiale Innenfläche (104) dem mindestens einen Elektrodenarm (82) zugewandt ist und im Wesentlichen nicht parallel in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) ist und

    wobei der mindestens eine Massevorsprung (102) im Wesentlichen der äußeren Form des zugehörigen Elektrodenarms (82) folgt.


     
    2. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der mindestens eine Elektrodenarm (82) eine radiale Außenfläche (84) in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) einschließt, wobei die radiale Innenfläche (104) des Masseelements (100) im Wesentlichen der radialen Außenfläche (84) des mindestens einen Elektrodenarms (82) entspricht.
     
    3. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei eine Funkenstrecke (92) zwischen der radialen Innenfläche (104) des Masseelements (100) und dem mindestens einen Elektrodenarm (82) gebildet ist, wobei die Funkenstrecke (92) entlang der axialen Richtung in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) im Wesentlichen konstant ist.
     
    4. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 oder 2, wobei eine Funkenstrecke (92) zwischen der radialen Innenfläche (104) des Masseelements (100) und dem mindestens einen Elektrodenarm (82) gebildet ist, wobei die Funkenstrecke (92) in der axialen Richtung in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) variabel ist.
     
    5. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach Anspruch 4, wobei ein erster Abstand (110) der Funkenstrecke (92) an einem distalen Endabschnitt (86) des mindestens einen Elektrodenarms (82) kleiner ist als ein zweiter Abstand (112) der Funkenstrecke (92) an einem proximalen Endabschnitt (87) des Elektrodenarms (82).
     
    6. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 5, wobei die Funkenstrecke (92) in einem Bereich von etwa 0,2 mm bis etwa 2,0 mm liegt, vorzugsweise in einem Bereich von etwa 0,2 mm bis etwa 0,8 mm.
     
    7. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die radiale Innenfläche (104) des Masseelements (100) im Wesentlichen eben ist.
     
    8. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach Anspruch 7, wobei die ebene radiale Innenfläche des Masseelements (100) in Bezug auf die Längsachse (90) geneigt ist, wobei ein Winkel (a) in einem Bereich von etwa 1° bis etwa 20° liegt.
     
    9. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die radiale Innenfläche (104) des Masseelements (100) im Wesentlichen gekrümmt ist.
     
    10. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Masseelement ein ringförmiger Massering (100) mit einer axialen Erstreckung ist, die im Wesentlichen einer axialen Erstreckung des mindestens einen Elektrodenarms (82) entspricht.
     
    11. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend eine Vorkammerkappe (70), die an dem Vorkammer-Hauptkörper (62) montiert ist und einen verbleibenden Abschnitt der Vorkammer (66) definiert.
     
    12. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Vorkammerkappe (70) einstückig mit dem Masseelement (100) ausgebildet ist.
     
    13. Vorkammeranordnung (60) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der mindestens eine Elektrodenarm (82) aus Iridium, Platin, Osmium oder jeglichen Legierungen davon hergestellt ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble préchambre (60) pour un moteur à combustion interne, comprenant :

    un corps principal de préchambre (62) configuré pour être monté sur le moteur à combustion interne et définissant au moins une partie d'une préchambre (66) s'étendant le long d'un axe longitudinal (90) ;

    une électrode d'allumage (80) comprenant une électrode centrale (85) et au moins un bras d'électrode (82) s'étendant depuis l'électrode centrale (85) au moins partiellement dans la préchambre (66), l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) s'étendant à la fois dans au moins une direction radiale par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (90) et au moins une direction axiale par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (90) ; et

    un élément de masse (100) incluant au moins une face interne radiale (104) et au moins une saillie de masse (102) s'étendant vers l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) et étant associé à l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82), l'au moins une saillie de masse (102) incluant l'au moins une face interne radiale (104),

    dans lequel l'élément de masse (100) s'étend circonférentiellement autour de l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) et l'au moins une face interne radiale (104) fait face à l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) et est sensiblement non parallèle à l'axe longitudinal (90), et

    dans lequel l'au moins une saillie de masse (102) suit sensiblement la forme externe du bras d'électrode associé (82).


     
    2. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) inclut une face externe radiale (84) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (90), la face interne radiale (104) de l'élément de masse (100) correspondant sensiblement à la face externe radiale (84) de l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82).
     
    3. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel un éclateur (92) est formé entre la face interne radiale (104) de l'élément de masse (100) et l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82), l'éclateur (92) étant sensiblement constant le long de la direction axiale par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (90).
     
    4. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 ou 2, dans lequel un éclateur (92) est formé entre la face interne radiale (104) de l'élément de masse (100) et l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82), l'éclateur (92) étant variable dans la direction axiale par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (90).
     
    5. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel une première distance (110) de l'éclateur (92) au niveau d'une partie d'extrémité distale (86) de l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) est inférieure à une deuxième distance (112) de l'éclateur (92) au niveau d'une partie d'extrémité proximale (87) du bras d'électrode (82).
     
    6. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 5, dans lequel l'éclateur (92) est dans une plage d'environ 0,2 mm à environ 2,0 mm, de préférence dans une plage d'environ 0,2 mm à environ 0,8 mm.
     
    7. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la face interne radiale (104) de l'élément de masse (100) est sensiblement plane.
     
    8. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel la face interne radiale plane de l'élément de masse (100) est inclinée par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (90) avec un angle (a) se situant dans une plage d'environ 1° à environ 20°.
     
    9. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel la face interne radiale (104) de l'élément de masse (100) est sensiblement incurvée.
     
    10. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément de masse est un anneau de masse annulaire (100) ayant une extension axiale correspondant sensiblement à une extension axiale de l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82).
     
    11. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un capuchon de préchambre (70) monté sur le corps principal de préchambre (62) et définissant une partie restante de la préchambre (66).
     
    12. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon la revendication 11, dans lequel le capuchon de préchambre (70) est formé d'un seul tenant avec l'élément de masse (100).
     
    13. Ensemble préchambre (60) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'au moins un bras d'électrode (82) est constitué d'iridium, de platine, d'osmium, ou d'un alliage quelconque de ceux-ci.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description