Bore (engine)

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In a piston engine, the bore (or cylinder bore) is the diameter of each cylinder.


Engine displacement is calculated based on bore, stroke length and the number of cylinders: [1]

displacement = π( 1/2 × bore )2 × stroke × ncylinders

The stroke ratio, determined by dividing the bore by the stroke, traditionally indicated whether an engine was designed for power at high engine speeds (rpm) or torque at lower engine speeds. [2] [3] The term "bore" can also be applied to the bore of a locomotive cylinder or steam engine pistons.

Steam locomotive

The term bore also applies to the cylinder of a steam locomotive or steam engine.

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Reciprocating engine Engine utilising one or more reciprocating pistons.

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Four-stroke engine

A four-strokeengine is an internal combustion (IC) engine in which the piston completes four separate strokes while turning the crankshaft. A stroke refers to the full travel of the piston along the cylinder, in either direction. The four separate strokes are termed:

  1. Intake: Also known as induction or suction. This stroke of the piston begins at top dead center (T.D.C.) and ends at bottom dead center (B.D.C.). In this stroke the intake valve must be in the open position while the piston pulls an air-fuel mixture into the cylinder by producing vacuum pressure into the cylinder through its downward motion. The piston is moving down as air is being sucked in by the downward motion against the piston.
  2. Compression: This stroke begins at B.D.C, or just at the end of the suction stroke, and ends at T.D.C. In this stroke the piston compresses the air-fuel mixture in preparation for ignition during the power stroke (below). Both the intake and exhaust valves are closed during this stage.
  3. Combustion: Also known as power or ignition. This is the start of the second revolution of the four stroke cycle. At this point the crankshaft has completed a full 360 degree revolution. While the piston is at T.D.C. the compressed air-fuel mixture is ignited by a spark plug or by heat generated by high compression, forcefully returning the piston to B.D.C. This stroke produces mechanical work from the engine to turn the crankshaft.
  4. Exhaust: Also known as outlet. During the exhaust stroke, the piston, once again, returns from B.D.C. to T.D.C. while the exhaust valve is open. This action expels the spent air-fuel mixture through the exhaust valve.
Straight-four engine Inline piston engine with four cylinders

A straight-four engine is a four-cylinder piston engine where cylinders are arranged in a line along a common crankshaft.

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Atkinson cycle

The Atkinson-cycle engine is a type of internal combustion engine invented by James Atkinson in 1882. The Atkinson cycle is designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power density.

Connecting rod

A connecting rod, also called a con rod, is the part of a piston engine which connects the piston to the crankshaft. Together with the crank, the connecting rod converts the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotation of the crankshaft. The connecting rod is required to transmit the compressive and tensile forces from the piston, and rotate at both ends.

The GM Ecotec engine, also known by its codename L850, is a family of all-aluminium inline-four engines, displacing between 1.4 and 2.5 litres. While these engines were based on the GM Family II engine, the architecture was substantially re-engineered for the new Ecotec application produced since 2000. This engine family replaced the GM Family II engine, the GM 122 engine, the Saab H engine, and the Quad 4 engine. It is manufactured in multiple locations, to include Spring Hill Manufacturing, in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

In a reciprocating engine, the cylinder is the space in which a piston travels.

Steam power developed slowly over a period of several hundred years, progressing through expensive and fairly limited devices in the early 17th century, to useful pumps for mining in 1700, and then to Watt's improved steam engine designs in the late 18th century. It is these later designs, introduced just when the need for practical power was growing due to the Industrial Revolution, that truly made steam power commonplace.

Compound steam engine

A compound steam engine unit is a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages. A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure (HP) cylinder, then having given up heat and losing pressure, it exhausts directly into one or more larger-volume low-pressure (LP) cylinders. Multiple-expansion engines employ additional cylinders, of progressively lower pressure, to extract further energy from the steam.

EMD 645

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Stroke ratio

In a reciprocating piston engine, the stroke ratio, defined by either bore/stroke ratio or stroke/bore ratio, is a term to describe the ratio between cylinder bore diameter and piston stroke length. This can be used for either an internal combustion engine, where the fuel is burned within the cylinders of the engine, or external combustion engine, such as a steam engine, where the combustion of the fuel takes place outside the working cylinders of the engine.

In the context of an internal combustion engine, the term stroke has the following related meanings

Dead centre (engineering)

In a reciprocating engine, the dead centre is the position of a piston in which it is either farthest from, or nearest to, the crankshaft. The former is known as Top Dead Centre (TDC) while the latter is known as Bottom Dead Centre (BDC).

Engine efficiency of thermal engines is the relationship between the total energy contained in the fuel, and the amount of energy used to perform useful work. There are two classifications of thermal engines-

  1. Internal combustion and
  2. External combustion engines.

The term six-stroke engine has been applied to a number of alternative internal combustion engine designs that attempt to improve on traditional two-stroke and four-stroke engines. Claimed advantages may include increased fuel efficiency, reduced mechanical complexity and/or reduced emissions. These engines can be divided into two groups based on the number of pistons that contribute to the six strokes.

Uniflow steam engine

The uniflow type of steam engine uses steam that flows in one direction only in each half of the cylinder. Thermal efficiency is increased by having a temperature gradient along the cylinder. Steam always enters at the hot ends of the cylinder and exhausts through ports at the cooler centre. By this means, the relative heating and cooling of the cylinder walls is reduced.

Internal combustion engine Engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber

An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, rotor or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful work. This replaced the external combustion engine for applications where weight or size of the engine is important.


  1. Schwaller, Anthony (1999). Motor Automotive Technology. Delmar, New York
  2. "Square, Oversquare and Undersquare engines". Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  3. "What Is Bore-Stroke Ratio and Square Engine Design?". 28 June 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2019.

See also