Can Shockwaves Revolutionize Automobile Locomotion?
An amazingly innovative car engine redesign could change the face of personal transport.
Researchers at Michigan State University have unveiled a dramatic new prototype that could revolutionise the automobile engine. The new design dispenses with the moving parts typical of a combustion engine, such pistons, crankshafts and valves, in favour of a minute saucepan that uses the power of shock waves to power locomotion.
“It consists of a rotor carved with wave-like channels. Fuel and air enter through central inlets, and the rotor spins to block their exit through a separate outlet. The sudden build-up of pressure generates a shock wave, compressing the mixture. Then it’s ignited, and as the rotor keeps spinning, the outlet opens again to let the hot gases escape”