Internal Combustion Engines Automobiles: The Historical Evolution

4 years ago by in Articles!


Summary: Nicolaus August Otto, Karl Benz, and Gottlieb Daimler are the three men who played a decisive role in the designing of internal combustion engine automobiles. Their contributions helped in bringing a big revolution in the field of internal combustion engine automobiles.

An internal combustion engine is the one that makes use of the explosive combustion of fuel for pushing a piston in a cylinder. The movement of the piston helps in turning a crankshaft which in turn drives the car wheels through a drive shaft or chain. The various fuels which are made use of for car combustion engines are petrol, kerosene, and diesel.

Christian Huygens in 1860 designed an internal combustion engine to be fueled by gunpowder. In the year 1807, Francois Isaac de Rivaz of Switzerland created an internal combustion engine which used a mixed fuel containing hydrogen and oxygen. He made a car for this purpose which is the first internal combustion powered automobile. However, the design did not give him any success.

In 1824, Samuel Brown, an English engineer, used an old Newcomen steam engine for burning gas which he used to start a vehicle up the London’s Shooter’s Hill. Jean JosephÉtienne Lenoir, who was a Belgian-born engineer, invented in 1858 a double-acting, electric spark-ignition internal combustion engine that was fueled using coal gas. He patented it in 1860. Three years later, he used a more advanced engine on a three-wheeled wagon.

Importance of Nicolaus August Otto, Karl Benz, and Gottlieb Daimler

One of the biggest engine designs came from Nicolaus August Otto. He created the first ever four-stroke internal combustion engine in 1876, named “Otto Cycle Engine.” On completing the engine he turned this into a motorcycle.

German mechanical engineer Karl Benz in the year 1885 made the first practical automobile in the world that was powered by an internal-combustion engine. He received his first patent in January, 1886 for a gas-fueled car, which was a three-wheeler. In 1891, he made his first four-wheeled car. By 1900, his company Benz & Cie came out to be the biggest manufacturer of automobiles. He was the first who integrated an internal combustion engine with a chassis.

Gottlieb Daimler along with Wilhelm Maybach, who was his design partner, in 1885 brought some modifications on Otto’s internal combustion engine. The engine was lightweight, small, and fast, which made use of a gasoline-injected carburetor and also possessed a vertical cylinder. It literally brought a revolution in car design. He created a V-slanted two cylinder having a four-stroke engine in 1889. It had mushroom-shaped valves. He is the founder of the Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft that was set up in 1890 to manufacture his designs. Wilhelm Maybach, after 11 years of this, came up with Mercedes. He was the first to create the four-cylinder, four-stroke engine.