Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Michael R. Swain

Second Committee Member

Roberta D. Goode

Third Committee Member

Singiresu S. Rao

Fourth Committee Member

Matthew N. Swain


The intent of this thesis is to design, build, and test a cylinder head with variable swirl and ignition sites. The design aspect used Solid Works Floworks to model airflow within the head and cylinder. Swirl rate and volumetric flow rate were calculated from the results. Many design iterations took place before a suitable design was accomplished. Once the suitable design was reached, it was built using the rapid prototyping method known as 3-D printing (Fused Deposition Modeling). Valve guides and seats were installed in the head. Then valves, springs, and retainers were installed to allow for testing. The inlet was created using stereo-lithography due to its smooth surface finish and thin walls. A pin wheel swirl measuring device was built to measure tangential rotation rate of gasses in the cylinder. The experimental head was tested on the University of Miami flow bench in the Internal Combustion Engines Laboratory. The results of the experimental work and theoretical modeling were compared. The results matched closely. The difference between experimental and theoretical values for high swirl flow rates were less than 3% error and the swirl ratio was less than 10%. For the low swirl scenario, error was less than 30%. The measured flow rate for the high swirl scenario was 28.87 CFM and the swirl ratio was measured as 2.87. SolidWorks Floworks created accurate results for the high swirl scenario and further experimentation should be conducted for different geometries.