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what is rocker arm ?

26 Nov 2016 - What is rocker arm?

     A rocker arm is a valvetrain component in internal combustion engines. As the arm is acted on by a camshaft lobe, it pushes open either an intake or exhaust valve. This allows fuel and air to be drawn into the combustion chamber during the intake stroke or exhaust gases to be expelled during the exhaust stroke. Rocker arms were first invented in the 19th century and have changed little in function since then. Improvements have been made, however, in both efficiency of operation and construction materials. Many modern rocker arms are made from stamped steel, though some applications can make use of heavier duty materials.

 The rocker arm introduction

     The rocker arm of an internal combustion engine changes radial movement into linear movement; this kind of device is properly called a reciprocating lever. It takes the spinning motion of the overhead camshaft and turns it into the up-and-down movement that opens and closes the valves. Because they are typically made of steel, rocker arms have a great deal of strength for their weight, and can therefore exert a great deal of leverage.

 The rocker arm introduction

     In many internal combustion engines, rotational motion is induced in the crank shaft as the pistons cause it to rotate. This rotation is translated to the camshaft via a belt or chain. In turn, lobes on the camshaft are used to push open the valves via rocker arms. This can be achieved either through direct contact between a camshaft lobe and rocker arm or indirectly though contact with a lifter driven pushrod. Overhead cam engines have lobes on the camshaft which contact each rocker arm directly, while overhead valve engines utilize lifters and pushrods. In overhead cam engines, the camshaft can be located in the head, while overhead valve engines have the camshaft in the block. Both varieties are seen in the US, but regulations have contributed to the decline of overhead valve applications elsewhere in the world.

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