Carburetor invention is attributed to Samuel Morey, Siegfried Marcus and Karl Benz. It is a device that mixes air and fuel in correct ratio and supplies this mixture to the internal combustion engine. In essence, the word carburetor is derived from the term carbure which means carbine. In simple terms, carburer means to blend with carbon.
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How it works
The carburetor uses the Bernoulli principle. As the speed of air increase the dynamic pressure increases while static pressure reduces. Basically, it means that when fluid is flowing rapidly, it exert relatively less pressure than slow-moving fluid. The carburetor works by drawing air into the top of the tube, also called the barrel, through the filter. They use a vacuum created by the engine to draw fuel and air.
Some carburetor design contains a choke valve that restricts airflow and increases fuel content. The chokes can either be electric or manual. Carburetors that use manual chokes usually include a lever that restricts air flow in the tube. The electric chokes do not require a lever or manual adjustments. They employ automatic control to determine the correct airflow.
At the bottom of the carburetor, we have a throttle plate which looks like a butterfly valve. It controls the amount of air and fuel mixture that is transmitted to the cylinders. The throttle is controlled by the acceleration pedal. It opens when the pedal is pressed down and closes when the pedal is released. When open it allows more fuel to enter into the engine and hence increasing the power and consequently the vehicle speed.
The throttle actuates the mechanism of the carburetor to control the amount fair-flowing to the engine. The flow speed and conseuently its static pressure determine how much fuel will be drawn to the airstream.
Types of Carburetors
There are four types of carburetors classified according to the carburetor positioning. They include:
- Side draft
The most common carburetor is the downdraft carburetor. They are the most popular in the United States. Downdraft carburetors consist of filtered air that flows downward through a top of the tube.
Side drafts are more common in Europe. They replaced the downdraft carburetors.They are positioned on top of the engine hence creating more space. The side draft allows air to flow horizontally to the intake manifold. It is located on the side of the vehicle engine.
The updraft carburetors are designed in such a way that air enters from below. It is usually found in older carburetors.
In modern vehicles, fuel injection has replaced the carburetors. Fuel injection is much more a newer technology. Carburetors are somehow old school but they offer simplicity.
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