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Scavenging in Diesel Engines

Updated on April 12, 2010


Scavenging is the process of removing exhaust gases from the cylinder after combustion and replenishing the cylinder with fresh air.

  • Efficient scavenging is necessary for good combustion of fuel inside the engine cylinder.
  • The passage of scavenge air will also assist cooling of the cylinder, piston and valves.
  • Time available for scavenging process in 2 stroke engine is less than 4 stroke engines.

Satisfactory Scavenging Depends on -

  1. Efficient evacuation of exhaust gases
  2. Exhaust ports or valves open before scavenge ports
  3. Scavenge ports close after the process of gas exchange
  4. Loss of fresh air through exhaust passage to be minimum

Importance of Scavenging

Scavenging affects - 

  • Overall efficiency
  • Power output per unit weight
  • Fuel consumption per unit power
  • Incomplete scavenging results in poor combustion
  • Lubricating¬†oil contamination
  • Wear piston rings and liner
  • Mean temperature of cylinder high

Different Stages of Scavenging

1st Stage - Blow Down Period

  • Sudden opening accelerates exhaust gases to exhaust manifold.

2nd Stage - Scavenge Period

  • Begins after scavenge ports open
  • Scavenge air sweeps gases out
  • Pressure difference between the scavenge trunking and exhaust manifold is important

3rd Stage

  • Effort made to contain air in the cylinder

Cross Flow Scavenging

Cross Flow Scavenging is the gas exchange process in which the charge air passes is directed upwards, passing under the cylinder cover and down the opposite side, expelling exhaust gas through exhaust ports on that side.

This system is obsolete now.

Cross Flow Scavenging
Cross Flow Scavenging

Loop Scavenging

Loop Scavenging is the gas exchange process in which he charge air passes over the piston crown and rises to form a loop within the cylinder, expelling exhaust gases through exhaust ports cut in the same side of the liner above the scavenge ports.


  • Simplicity, Reliability and cylinder cover is simplified.


  • Temperature gradient exhaust to scavenge ports is high
  • Exhaust back pressure higher with deposits
  • Possibility of intermixing air and gases
  • Piston and liner distortion and uneven piston ring wear due to ports
  • Scavenge efficiency is lower than uniflow scavenge efficiency at all scavenge ratios

Loop Scavenging
Loop Scavenging

Uniflow Scavenging

Uniflow scavenging is he gas exchange process in which the charge air passes straight up through the length of the cylinder, forcing the exhaust gas through exhaust valve at the top of the cylinder.


  • Highest scavenge efficiency at all scavenge ratios
  • Drop in scavenge efficiency lowest with high scavenge pressure
  • Most suitable for pressure charging
  • Greater area for air and gas flow
  • Possibility of short circuiting and mixing less


  • Complicated cylinder head and increased maintenance

Uniflow Scavenging
Uniflow Scavenging


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    • profile image

      okechukwu 5 years ago

      scavenging is wat we all most take in d engine room

    • profile image

      wen 5 years ago

      anyone who knows how the uni-flow scavenging came into development and final use in today's 2 stroke diesels?

    • profile image

      j mathew 5 years ago

      thanx for the inputs. You really make this cite very interesting. Keep it up

    • profile image

      varsha 5 years ago

      y scavng z imprtnt in 2 strk engn?

    • profile image

      virender 6 years ago

      i want to know about the term "post scavenging" and "blowdown" used in valve timing diagram.

    • profile image

      sunil 6 years ago

      thanku one and all who worked at this cite i got my answer

    • profile image

      Ansolly 7 years ago

      I get what I was searching for... good site for marine engineering.