Engine Friction Reduction for Improved Fuel Economy 820085

Recent fuel cost increases have changed engine cost/benefit design guidelines and, therefore, renewed interest in engine friction reduction. At a typical part throttle engine operating condition, the mechanical friction (including oil pump & water pump) of a conventional four-cylinder engine consumes approximately 22% of the indicated power. A1 psi (6.9 kPa) MEP reduction in mechanical friction can result in an EPA, M-H fuel economy improvement of l%-2%, depending on the engine/vehicle configuration.
This paper reviews various friction measurement methods and presents motoring friction data for several small engines (four and six cylinder). The friction of various components, including the valve train, pistons, rings and rods, seals and engine auxiliaries (alternator, water pump and oil pump) are also shown. Component design modifications for reducing friction are discussed, and projections and measurements of fuel economy gains for improved components are presented. Various valve train, oil pump, and piston ring designs are compared with regard to their mechanical friction characteristics.


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