The Duke Axial Piston Engine: A New Kind of IC Engine


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I did not know where to include this thread since it is not a regular automotive question-answer type of thread starter. But I found the concept of the Duke engine so fascinating that I felt it should find a place in our forum. So mods, if you feel that it could be moved to a more appropriate section, I'll be relieved!

I came across this in the usual way, while browsing the net. And what caught my eye was the axial piston bit. As marine engineers, most of us are familiar with axial piston swash-plate type of variable-delivery pumps used for marine steering gear systems. That a similar (well, almost) principle could be used in reverse as a prime mover, proved irresistible. I am giving a link to the site (Duke Engines' incredibly compact, lightweight valveless axial engine - ) with cutaway videos showing the operating mechanism. Quite fascinating. One weakness I could see after a cursory view of the video (or apparent weakness, at least) appeared to be the matter of providing gas tight sealing where the pistons slides across the swash plate (or stationary head ring) from one port to the next. Rather like the problem faced in the Wankel rotary engine, where sliding vanes did not provide long-lasting seals. I look forward to hearing from members with their views.
 
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I came across this animated video of the Duke axial piston engine and am attaching the link here. It gives a good graphic portrayal of the working principle.


The last update on this engine (a 1000cc ultra compact motor cycle application) is dated Jan 2018 :-
Duke Engine: Innovative Axial Piston Engine Explained

I suspect that with all the advantages (extremely compact, light weight, high power density, and minimal moving parts compared to the conventional I.C. engine) it still may not have circumvented the major Achilles' Heel of the design - providing adequate and long-lasting gas- sealing between the sliding pistons and the static head with its spark plugs and inlet/exhaust ports.
 
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