Tacom Selects Sturman Digital Injector For Engines

Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (Tacom) has contracted Sturman Industries to execute the objective of SBIR A09-199 'Ultra High Pressure Jet Propellant-8 (JP-8) Fuel Injection'. This objective is: 'To examine, develop and demonstrate a hydraulically intensified, ultra-high pressure fuel-injection system that will be durable, increase power density relative to volume and or weight, increase fuel economy and reduce specific heat rejection of high-output military diesel engines that are required to operate on heavy-hydrocarbon fuels, including Jet-A1, Jet-A, JP-5, JP-8 and DF-2.

Eddie Sturman, co-founder and chief technology officer of Sturman Industries, is well versed on the current and future fuel-system requirements of the US military. 'Fuel-injection technology from Sturman Industries is currently utilised on MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles in the battlefield. 'Tardec has provided us the opportunity to build upon the success of the hydraulic intensification platform to further demonstrate the ability of the Sturman Digital Injector with regards to ultra-high pressure, rate-shaping, multiple events and multi-fuel capability,' he said.

The Sturman hydraulically intensified fuel injector with intelligent electronic controls and ultra-high pressure capabilities has the potential to improve the performance of engines from military and commercial diesel engines to off-road trucks, passenger cars or ships. In general, higher injection pressures allow for better fuel atomisation and more complete combustion of the fuel, which increases the engine efficiency and reduces the unburned hydrocarbons in the engine exhaust.

At higher injection pressures, it is also possible to inject larger fuel quantities at the same time through the same nozzle holes. This produces more torque and power from the engine while maintaining good atomisation necessary for efficient combustion. Sturman Industries is targeting injection pressures as high as 3000 bar with the latest injector models. The aim of generating injection pressure is to intensify the fuel locally at the injector.

A hydraulically intensified fuel injector has several advantages over a non-intensified fuel injector, especially regarding the capability of running with different fuel types at high pressures. The first benefit is that the fuel is pressurised locally inside the injector rather than in an external pump.

Therefore, the system does not require a pump capable of working with multiple fuel types at ultra-high pressures. This eliminates a significant challenge because the lower lubricity of fuels such as JP-8 used by the military creates wear and durability issues for many of the pump components at these high pressures. In the Sturman injector, only a limited number of sliding parts come into contact with high-pressure fuel, reducing the wear issues caused by low lubricity.


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