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2-stroke engine vs 4-stroke engine-Difference between 2-stroke engine and 4-stroke engine

This page on 2-stroke engine vs 4-stroke engine describes basic difference between 2-stroke engine and 4-stroke engine types.

Heat Engine: The machine which converts heat produced by burning of fuel into useful work is known as heat engine. In other words, heat engine is basically a equipment which generates thermal energy and transforms the same into mechanical energy form.

There are different types of classification of heat engines based on various criterias. There are two types of classification based on working cycle. The same have been mentioned in the table below.

In 2-stroke engine, the whole sequence of events i.e. suction, compression, power and exhaust are completed in two strokes of piston i.e. one revolution of crankshaft.

In 4-stroke engine, all the four events (suction, compression, power and exhaust) take place inside the engine cylinder. The 4 events are completed in 4 strokes of the piston i.e. two revolutions of the crankshaft.

2 stroke engine vs 4 stroke engine

The figure-1 depicts 2 stroke engine (petrol type) and 4 stroke engine (petrol/diesel type). In 4 stroke engine all the four events viz. suction, compression, power and exhaust occur in four different strokes of piston. In 2 stroke engine, suction and compression occur in upward stroke of the piston while power and exhaust occur in downward stroke of the piston.

Following table mentions comparison between these engine types with respect to various features.


2-stroke engine 4-stroke engine
When the cycle is completed in one revolution of crankshaft , it is called as 2-stroke cycle engine. When the cycle is completed in two revolutions of crankshaft, it is called as 4-stroke cycle engine.
One power stroke for each revolution of the crankshaft. One power stroke for every two revolutions of the crankshaft.
There are inlet and exhaust ports in the engine. There are inlet and exhaust valves in the engine.
The crankshaft is fully closed and also it is air tight. The crankshaft is not fully closed and air tight.
Both sides of piston compress the charge. Top of the piston compresses the charge.
Size of the flywheel is comparatively smaller. Size of the flywheel is comparatively larger.
Fuel is not fully consumed. Fuel is fully consumed.
Weight of engine per hp is comparatively low. Weight of engine per hp is high.
Thermal efficiency is comparatively low. Thermal efficiency is high.
Removal of exhaust gases comparatively difficult. Removal of exhaust gases easy.
Torque produced is less even. Torque produced in even.
For given weight, 2-stroke engine gives twice powercompare to 4-stroke engine. For same weight, 4-stroke engine would give only half power of 2-stroke engine counterpart.
Mostly high speed engines are in this type. All speed types are possible.
This engine can be operated in both the directions i.e. clockwise and anti-clockwise. This engine can be operated in one direction only.

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