What is the Inlet Manifold?

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Inlet Manifold:

In engineering, a manifold or manifold (in American English) is that a part of an engine that supplies the fuel/air mixture to the cylinders. The word manifold comes from the Anglo-Saxon word manigfeald (from the Anglo-Saxon manig [many] and field [repeatedly]) and refers to the multiplying of 1 (pipe) into many.

In contrast, a manifold collects the exhaust gases from multiple cylinders into a smaller number of pipes – often right down to one pipe.

The primary function of the manifold is to evenly distribute the combustion mixture (or just air in a very direct injection engine) to every intake port within the cylinder head(s). Even distribution is vital to optimizing the efficiency and performance of the engine. It should also function as a mount for the carburetor, throttle body, fuel injectors, and other components of the engine.

Due to the downward movement of the pistons and therefore the restriction caused by the accelerator, during a reciprocating spark ignition piston engine, a partial vacuum (lower than atmospheric pressure) exists within the manifold. This manifold vacuum is often substantial and may be used as a source of automobile ancillary power to drive auxiliary systems: power-assisted brakes, emission control devices, control, ignition advance, windshield wipers, power windows, ventilation valves, etc.

This vacuum can even be wont to draw any piston blow-by gases from the engine’s crankcase. This is often referred to as positive crankcase ventilation, during which the gases are burned with the fuel/air mixture.

The manifold has historically been manufactured from aluminum or forged iron, but the utilization of composite plastic materials is gaining popularity (e.g. most Chrysler 4-cylinders, Ford Zetec 2.0, Duratec 2.0 and 2.3, and GM’s Ecotec series).

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