As the automotive industry continues to look at new ways to meet tightening regulations, US engine technology company GlideValve is working on an innovative camless valvetrain concept.
Tested on a single cylinder prototype engine and designed for proof-of-concept and efficiency, the system requires a comparative piston size and airflow to most car and truck engines. This means that GlideValve designs can be used in twin-, four-, six- and eight-cylinder application. Based on the analysis obtained by a nationally recognized testing facility, GlideValve could enable more efficient operation than traditional poppet valves.
While the traditional valvetrain has undergone significant development, increasing the opening- and closing-speed of valves often comes at the cost of complexity. The US company aims to eliminate virtually all traditional valve gear. Instead of an OHC system, each GlideValve – which cover both intake and exhaust – has just two moving parts when connected to an actuator.
Instead of a camshaft and multiple poppet valve arrangement, the concept has a low profile. The GlideValve moves air through the interior of the valve and seals the valve with rings around the valve exterior. A tubular design allows the valve to open and close without having to enter the combustion chamber like the poppet valve.
This design promises to allow two GlideValves to move more air per cylinder than four poppet valves. The ability to alter engine timing, without the fear of valve or piston collision, can achieve 30% greater efficiency. Also, emissions can be significantly improved through complete fuel combustion, thanks to zero valve overlap.
GlideValve can be retrofitted for head-only, or it can be added to an existing engine block without engine compartment infrastructure modification. The head and block can also be manufactured as one piece, so no head bolts or head gaskets are required.