The section is laid out in the following parts:
- firstly we will discuss the function of cam and follower systems in an internal combustion engines
- then we will consider the mechanisms that the cam and follower system interact with inside the internal combustion engine and
- finally we will try to look at the how the cam and follower system interact with these other mechanisms.
The function of Cam and follower Systems in Engines
Camshaft of an Engine
The use of cam and follower systems are vital in engines, where they are used to open and close the inlet valve and the exhaust valve to the cylinder head. The diagram shown opposite shows us a typical camshaft that could be found in a lawnmower engine. The cam and follower system is a plate cam and flat follower system, and of course the function of the system is to open and close the valves at the correct time during the four stroke cycle of the engine (this will be dealt with in more depth later). If you examine the image close you will see that the peaks of the cams are offset by approximately 120 degrees. These ensures that the both valves aren't fully open at the same time.
Camshaft with Plate Cams imparting on a Flat Followers and Valves
Camshaft of an Engine incorporating a Rocker ArmThe diagram shown below is another typical cam and follower system that could be used in an engine. This system incorporates a rocker arm (shown in blue in the image). In this case the motion the cam imparts on the follower is translated to the valve through a push rod amd the rocker arm
Example of a Cam and Follower System at work within an Internal Combustion Engine