Volume IX, Issue 5, Page 53

Dart’s Wet Flow Technology

The development of cylinder head combustion chambers, intake and exhaust runners and ports, valve development, intake manifolds, turbochargers, superchargers, carburetors or almost any device or component in an internal combustion engine that has air or liquid or a combination of the two flowing through them is a never ending quest for increased efficiency. In their efforts to engineer and develop optimum performing components, specifically cylinder heads that deliver more torque or horsepower, engine builders, head designers and manufacturers have long employed a testing device known as a “flow bench”. They have used flow benches to both quantify with numbers how much or how efficiently their newly designed or modified heads or intake flows air or an air/fuel mix. For years the tried and true “dry” airflow bench has been the testing and development device most builders of high-performance engines have relied upon for that information. 

McAfee works on Dart big block head.

But recently progressive cylinder head and intake research and development engineers have added a variant of their faithful “dry” flow bench; now many including the folks at Dart Cylinder head and Reher-Morrison just to mention two have started using what is called a “wet” flow bench. 

In the development of fuel pumps, oil pumps, carburetors and other related components designers have long used flow benches that flowed liquids. Over ten years ago I saw a wet flow bench being used at C&S Carburetors in St. Louis to improve and engineer better carburetors. I believe that both the Holley and Carter companies have had wet benches and I’d bet that GM, Ford and Chrysler have long had this type of benches. But for the most part a “wet” flow bench hasn’t been commonly seen in many specialty cylinder head shops. For the most part “dry” flow benches that give the operator data on the volume of air their products could flow in a finite amount of time and pressure have been the standard.

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