The “Banger Rig”

Photo of banger rig

The Banger Unit ready to create an explosion in one cylinder of an installed diesel engine

Although a relatively old idea, the affectionately named “Banger Rig” is arguably one of the more advanced experimental rig tests available to the internal combustion engine developer. Originally conceived by Ricardo and further refined over the past 30 years by the ISVR, the Banger Rig enables the response of an engine structure to combustion force to be studied in a non-running engine. Charges of propane, air and oxygen are repetitively ignited in one of the combustion chambers of the engine allowing normalised noise and vibration transfer functions to be measured.

New ideas for uses of the rig are continually being dreamt up; however the more regular tasks include setting targets for diesel engine idle noise combustion, provision of real values for combustion noise meters, verification of CAE (computer aided engineering) block models, crank train response studies, and structural propagation research. The Banger Rig experiment can be carried out on relatively stripped block and head structures with just one piston, through to fully built up engines installed in a vehicle. For most tests, results can be compared to the large databases that have been built up for engines ranging from 50 cm3 to 13 litres capacity.