What are the Different Rotary Engine Parts?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Rotary engine parts include the spark plugs, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and the rotor itself, among others. There are parts both big and small found inside the engine, but the most important rotary engine parts are all involved in one of the four stages that make up one cycle of the engine. To understand the different rotary engine parts it's best to first examine how a rotary engine works.

Operations performed by the engine make up a continuous cycle that creates power. The four stages of this cycle include the intake phase, the compression phase, the combustion phase, and finally the exhaust phase. These four stages are the same stages used by a typical car engine, but the rotary engine uses different parts to complete the process.

On the intake phase, a mixture of air and fuel is sucked into the rotary engine through the intake manifold. It comes into contact with the most important of the rotary engines parts, the rotor itself. The rotor is triangular in shape and turns in a circle to force the air fuel mixture through the engine. After it has entered through the intake manifold, the rotor moves it into the next chamber where the compression phase takes place.


As the rotor turns, it compresses the air fuel mixture in the next chamber. This is why the phase is called the compression phase. Spark plugs are located in this chamber of the rotary engine. When the air fuel mixture has reached the desired level of compression, the spark plugs give off sparks. These sparks in turn cause the flammable air fuel mixture to ignite.

The force of the small explosion created when the air fuel mixture ignites pushes the rotor back around to the beginning. This completes one cycle of the rotary engine. As the rotor is pushed back around, it forces the remaining air and fuel out through the exhaust manifold.

While many smaller pieces hold the rotary engine together, there are a few important pieces at the heart of the rotary engine. These rotary engine parts ensure the engine is functioning properly. Without them, the engine could not produce enough power to be effective. The rotor, spark plugs, and the intake and exhaust manifolds each play a vital role during every cycle of the rotary engine, and must all work together or the engine will fail.


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