The design and development of high efficiency spark-ignition engines continues to be limited by the consideration of knock. Although the topic of spark knock has been the subject of comprehensive research since the early 1900s, little has been reported on the coupling of the engine thermodynamics and knock. This work uses an engine cycle simulation together with a sub-model for the knock phenomena to explore these connections. First, the autoignition characteristics as represented by a recent (2014) Arrhenius expression for the reaction time of the end gases is examined for a range of temperatures and pressures. In spite of the exponential dependence on temperature, pressure appears to dominate the ignition time for the conditions examined. Higher pressures (and higher temperatures) tend to enhance the potential for knock.
Second, knock is determined as functions of engine design and operating parameters. The trends are consistent with expectations, and the results provide a systematic presentation of knock occurrence. Engine parameters explored include compression ratio, engine speed, inlet pressure, start of combustion, heat transfer, and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Changes of cylinder pressures and temperatures of the unburned zone as engine parameters were varied are shown to be directly responsible for the changes of the knock characteristics.