Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

M. Zhang

Second Advisor

X. Xu

Third Advisor

J. Tjong


Combustion, Engine research, Engineering, Mechanical, Rapid compression machine




The main objective of this thesis is to document the design and development of a rapid compression machine (RCM). A series of tests were performed to verify the operation of the system using the compression of air. Finally, an experiment was conducted to validate the auto-ignition temperature of DME under HCCI mode. Based on the first version of the RCM, improvements were made to speed up the compression process, and to create the conditions required for the auto-ignition of a DME-air mixture. The inlet diameter of the pneumatic actuation cylinder was increased to reduce the choking effect of the air flow from the pressurized tank to the pneumatic cylinder, during the compression process. Thus, the compression duration could be reduced. A hydraulic system was used to lock and trigger the piston motion, and a data acquisition system was established to monitor the operation of the system. The compression duration was shortened to under 50 ms, with a compression stroke of 124 mm. The auto-ignition of a DME-air mixture was observed, with the auxiliary heating of a fibreglass wrapping tape that increased the initial temperature of the compression cylinder up to 373 K.