If someone told you that automotive engines breathe just like humans, you would probably dismiss the idea as delusional. However, think of it this way… every combustion reaction includes the consumption of oxygen to liberate energy in some form, so let’s extend this same logic to engines. It is universally known that engines run on fuel, but this is only partially correct, as fuel requires oxygen to burn and cannot combust by itself.
Thus, all cars are fitted with an intake system that sucks, filters and mixes air with fuel to form a combustible ‘charge’ that is then supplied to the engine. This charge burns and generates energy, which is then harnessed as mechanical power and can be made to turn wheels.
What is natural and forced induction in automobiles?
The process of feeding air to the engine so that combustion can take place is known as aspiration or induction. Induction can either be natural or forced, depending on the architecture of the engine.
An engine that draws in air at atmospheric pressure by creating a vacuum in the air intake system is known as a naturally aspirated engine, and the phenomenon is called natural induction.
However, certain engines are equipped with devices that enable them to draw in air at a pressure higher than the atmospheric pressure. These devices are called superchargers, and the process is called forced induction.