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Optical Engineering

Laser cleaning of optical windows in internal combustion engines
Author(s): Helmut Ranner; Pratush Kumar Tewari; Heinrich Kofler; M. Lackner; Ernst Wintner; Avinash Kumar Agarwal; F. Winter
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Paper Abstract

Optical access to combustion chambers via windows is desirable for combustion diagnostics as well as for laser ignition. By nature, combustion deposits can form on the inner surface of the light-transmitting window, leading to malfunction. We investigated whether a Nd:YAG ignition laser could cope with combustion-chamber deposits by means of ablation. In a 1.8-kW four-stroke internal combustion engine an optical window was installed to couple in the laser light. Ignition was carried out by a spark plug. Due to inherent high fuel and oil consumption, a deposit layer would form on the substrate within some tens of minutes. Elementary analysis showed carbonaceous as well as inorganic compounds gradually reducing light transmission. With cyclic 5-ns laser shots through the window, the pass-through stayed essentially free of deposits provided the energy fluence was around 10 mJ/mm2. Microanalysis showed evidence of the soundness of the principle. In addition, even single shots with a higher flux were enough to remove a relatively thick layer of deposits at once. Thus an optical window in an internal combustion engine can in principle be kept transmissive by the action of a compact solid-state laser.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 46(10) 104301 doi: 10.1117/1.2793704
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 46, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
Helmut Ranner, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Pratush Kumar Tewari, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (India)
Heinrich Kofler, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
M. Lackner, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Ernst Wintner, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Avinash Kumar Agarwal, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (India)
F. Winter, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)


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