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This is a valve mechanism for piston engines. Sleeve-valve engines were used in the most number of luxury cars during the World War – 2 and also in the United States. They were not being used as further technology advances in poppet valve technology. The design of sleeve valve engine is in such a way that sleeve valve fits between the piston and the cylinder wall in the internal combustion engine. At that place, it rotates and slides and the holes come in alignment with cylinder’s inlet and an outlet at appropriate times in the internal combustion engine cycle.

The sleeve valve engines are used both on automobiles and airplane such as Hawker Typhoon and Hawker Tempest. The engine got its name sleeve valve engine from the thin – walled and metal sleeves that slide up and down within the cylinder.


In 1901, Charles Yale Knight bought an air cooled, single – cylinder three – wheeler and those noisy valves annoy him. He believed that he could design and invent a better system. This new design system is the double sleeve principle in the year 1904. With his knowledge and wealthy background, in the year 1906, he tested and invented 40 – horsepower, 4 – cylinder engine known as Silent knight the car.

There are many advantages of the sleeve valve engines and are discussed below.

With the use of Sleeve Valve Engine, high volumetric efficiency can be made output due to very large port openings. He also made a demonstration regarding better mechanical and thermal efficiency.

The ports of the sleeve valve engine are bigger in size. The size of the ports can be controlled and is important to control when the engine operates at wide rotations per minute. When the engine moves at high rotations per minute, the engine typically needs larger ports and so remain open for greater portions. This is almost impossible to achieve with the poppet valve system and is fairly achieve by the use of sleeve valve engine.

The combustion chamber that comes with the sleeve valve engine is placed at its top and is made good for complete and detonation – free and combustion of charge.

There are no springs attached to the engine system in the sleeve valve engine and so the power needed to operate this valve will remain constant at the engines rotations per minute. The problem with high-speed engines with poppet valves is that if engine speed increases, the speed the valve moves also increases. At higher speeds achieved with this type allow good air – flow and have considerable mass. The valve spring may be unable to close and open and this effect is known as Valve Float.

The temperature of all the power connected engine parts like cylinders and pistons must be at low temperature. We have discovered that as long as the clearance between the sleeve and cylinder is good and have some lubricating film in between them, low temperatures can be maintained.

These are working and advantages of the Sleeve Valve Engines.

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