Vibration-based identification of engine valve clearance using a convolutional neural network




combustion engine, diagnostics, vibration, machine learning, convolutional network


Contemporary operation-related requirements for combustion engines force the necessity of ongoing assessment of their in operation technical condition (e.g. marine engines). The engine efficiency and durability depend on a variety of parameters. One of them is valve clearance. As has been proven in the paper, the assessment of the valve clearance can be based on vibration signals, which is not a problem in terms of signal measurement and processing and is not invasive into the engine structure. The authors described the experimental research aiming at providing information necessary to develop and validate the proposed method. Active experiments were used with the task of valve clearance and registration of vibrations using a three-axis transducer placed on the engine cylinder head. The tests were carried out during various operating conditions of the engine set by 5 rotational speeds and 5 load conditions. In order to extract the training examples, fragments of the signal related to the closing of individual valves were divided into 11 shorter portions. From each of them, an effective value of the signal was determined. Obtained total 32054 training vectors for each valve related to 4 classes of valve clearance including very sensitive clearance above 0.8 mm associated with high dynamic interactions in cylinder head. In the paper, the authors propose to use a convolutional network CNN to assess the correct engine valve clearance. The obtained results were compared with other methods of machine learning (pattern recognition network, random forest). Finally, using CNN the valve clearance class identification error was less than 1% for the intake valve and less than 3.5% for the exhaust valve. Developed method replaces the existing standard methods based on FFT and STFT combined with regression calculation where approximation error is up to 10%. Such results are more useful for further studies related not only to classification, but also to the prediction of the valve clearance condition in real engine operations.


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Original articles

How to Cite

Tabaszewski, M., Szymański, G. M., & Nowakowski, T. (2022). Vibration-based identification of engine valve clearance using a convolutional neural network. Archives of Transport, 61(1), 117-131.


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