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Once piston moves away from combustion space, pressure drops. The next stage of operation depends on design of engine. These can be either 2-stroke or 4-stroke designs.
Regardless of type of design, spent exhaust gas is first driven out, and then new fresh air is drawn back into combustion chamber.
After this, rotating crankshaft drives piston to compress fresh air inside combustion chamber. The piston acts as a reciprocating compressor at this stage.
The compression of air causes latter to become hot - hot enough to ignite finely distributed fuel particles.
At this moment, fuel is sprayed in at high pressure. The tiny sprayed fuel particles form a mist inside combustion chamber.
What do think will happen when you have heat, fuel and oxygen? A fire! Each tiny particle of fuel burns rapidly, and an explosion occurs.
The cycle starts again, and crankshaft turns continuously, pistons move continuously, and engine runs.
How does engine know when to spray fuel, let in air, compress air, and exhaust spent combustion product?
Well folks, start your engines.
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