This electronic flyer highlights our capabilities and activities in the area of Flowbench Facilities. Please sign our guestbook. For additional information, e-mail Doug Eberle, Southwest Research Institute.

Flowbench Facilities

Intake port performance has significant influence on engine power output, fuel economy, and exhaust emissions.

Flow testing of intake ports is an integral part of total engine design and optimization. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) maintains a flow bench facility with a flow capacity of 1000 SCFM at 20 in. water differential pressure that is dedicated to port flow measurement and characterization.


Air motion for many sizes and types of engines is characterized on the SwRI flow bench facility.



New cylinder head designs are compared to a large database of production and prototype heads.


Measurement of in-cylinder air motion is becoming increasingly important due to exhaust emissions and engine efficiency considerations. SwRI is the industry leader in measuring swirl, tumble, and combined air motion. The Institute's state-of-the-art design impulse swirl meters provide more accurate and repeatable measurements than other types of swirl meters.

Swirl motion Tumble motion Combined motion

Intake Port Development

Intake ports are parametrically designed using the latest solid modeling techniques.


Intake ports are designed to provide the optimum balance between air flow and desired in-cylinder air motion characteristics. Parametric models of the ports are created based on fundamental engineering principles and years of port design experience.



Rapid prototyping techniques such as CNC machining or stereolithography are used to produce prototype flow boxes directly from solid geometry files. Casting core patterns are made from the same geometric database as the flow box, ensuring flow accuracy in production components.


SwRI Wet Flow Bench Facility

SwRI maintains a steady-state water pumping flow bench that provides visual verification of flow characteristics in engine components. This flow bench facility can also be used to identify stagnation or recirculation zones.


This transparent flow section is used in conjunction with neutral density particles to aid in flow visualization. Other components such as ports and manifolds can also be analyzed on the wet flow bench.



High-speed photography or laser doppler anemometry can be used to obtain a flow velocity profile of the test component. This information can be used for geometry modifications, or verification of CFD results.


This flyer was published in February 1997. For more information about SwRI flowbench facilities, contact Doug Eberle, Manager, Phone (210) 522-5260, Fax (210) 522-4581, Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510.

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