ASME-Landmark:Cooperative Fuel Research Engine


In the 1920s, the Co-operative Fuel Research (CFR) Committee was formed to respond to the need for refiners and engine builders to develop a means of measuring and defining gasoline combustion characteristics. In 1928, the committee had reached the decision that a standardized single cylinder test engine was needed as a first step in developing a gasoline knock-test method.

Principal design work on this prototype engine was accomplished by engineers of Waukesha Motor Company, now a division of Dresser Industries, who served on the CFR Committee with representatives of the American Petroleum Institute, Society of Automotive Engineers, Automobile Manufacturers Association, and the National Bureau of Standards.

The first commercial CFR engine was designed and built in forty-five days, beginning in December 1928. It was put on display on January 14, 1929 at the Society of Automotive Engineer's Annual meeting. The engine improved the ability of the automotive and petroleum industries to tailor their products to perform better together, because it provided a recognized standard for defining fuel quality.

The CFR engine has been refined through the years since the first one was completed in 1929, but the basic design principles and combustion chamber characteristics remain today as they were in the beginning. Almost 5000 of these engines have been produced and sold world-wide since the first was made, with annual production around 85 engines per year. The engines remain relevant today for basic research in exhaust emissions and alternate fuels suitability. The knock test procedures originally developed by the CFR committee are now maintained by the American Society of Testing and Materials. See ASME website for more information