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Master thesis: prototyping of a magnetic device for torque ripple compensation in internal combustion engines

Internal combustion engines exhibit the intrinsic property of torque ripple due to the sequential ignition of fuel in pistons and oscillating masses. The resulting speed oscillations and vibration have an impact on lifetime and efficiency of the drivetrain as well as drivability and noise emission.

To compensate the ripple torque following approaches have been proposed so far:

  • Passive/ mechanical methods by use of springs and cams or flywheels
    • high inertia flywheels à reduced dynamic performance
    • complex design (cams – rollers – springs) à losses due to friction, failure
  • Active methods using the electrical motor/ starter in hybrid systems
    • Operating in sub-optimal el. motor conditions à decreased efficiency
    • Over dimensioned electrical components because of high peak power à high cost

Alternative concept for passive torque compensation is proposed. A fully passive device, consisting of permanent magnet arrays on rotor and stator (as shown on the drawing), generates  the oscillating torque characteristic needed to compensate the ICE torque pulses. Such ripple compensation is simple in design and  virtually fatigue free while having low losses without and no need for an active front end.

The target of the internship is to design a prototype that demonstrates the presented concept and evaluate its performance on an available ICE modular test rig. The constituting tasks and tentative schedule for this assignment (depending on the duration of the internships adjustments can be made):

  1. Set design requirements (analysis of  torque pulsations of the available ICE rig based on existing documentation – measurement and available models) (half a month)
  2. Design of the magnetic device (1.5 month)
    1. FEM model parametric analysis
    2. CAD design of parts
  3. Build-up of the prototype (1.5 month)
  4. Validation of torque characteristic on the ICE emulator available at Flanders Make and/or ICE modular test rig at Fraunhofer LBF (final 2 months)
  5. Documentation and preparation of final presentation (half a month)

Assignment data

The assignment is for 6 months and takes place between Flanders Make located in Leuven, Belgium and Fraunhofer LBF located in Darmstadt, Germany.

Profile student

  • Master or PhD student in mechanical, electrical, or mechatronic engineering;
  • Knowledge of modelling and experience with Matlab/Simulink is highly recommended;
  • Experience with CAD software tools
  • Any practical mechanical experience is welcome
  • Passionate by research and new technologies with focus on industrial applications
  • Result oriented, responsible and proactive;
  • A good communicator, able to communicate in English;
  • Eager to learn and a team player;
  • A valid residence permit for the entire stay in Belgium/Germany.

Additional information:

All software and hardware needed for the execution of the project will be provided by Flanders Make and Fraunhofer LBF.

About Flanders Make:

Flanders Make is the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry. The mission of the centre is to strengthen the long-term international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry by performing industry-driven, pre-competitive, excellent research in the technological domains of mechatronics, product development methods and advanced manufacturing technologies.

This research will result in applications for machines, vehicles, vehicle components and high-tech production systems at the participating companies.

To achieve this mission, Flanders Make conducts industry-driven joint projects and contract research assignments in the following research programs: Clean Energy-efficient Motion Systems, Smart Monitoring Systems, Autonomous Systems, Intelligent Product Design Methods, Design & Manufacturing of Smart and Lightweight Structures, Additive Manufacturing for Serial Production, Manufacturing for High Precision Components, Agile & Human-centered Production & Robotics Systems.


About Fraunhofer LBF

Fraunhofet-Gesellschaft, with more than 22000 employees, is the largest organization for applied research in Europe. It promotes and undertakes applied research in an international context of direct utility to private and public enterprises. Fraunhofer LBF is one of the 66 institutes of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. More than 550 scientists, engineers, technicians, administrators and experts from diverse disciplines bring their know-how into interdisciplinary project work and services. The Fraunhofer LBF teams offer services along the entire value-added chain starting with the material and its processing up to the finished component, the complex system, its qualification with regard to safety and reliability, and performance from product design to verification. Comprehensive material and energy-efficient solutions are developed in the areas of vibration technology, lightweight construction, reliability and polymer technology – tailored to the individual needs of each customer. Fraunhofer LBF reaches a number of different markets with its characteristic, wide-reaching competence and service portfolio, particularly in rail transport technology, ship building, aviation, mechanical and plant engineering, energy technology, building industry, medical technology and the chemical industry.


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