Ball-on-Cylinder Testing for Aviation Fuel Lubricity 881537
Of the many research approaches investigated over the years to measure the lubrication properties of aviation turbine fuels, the Ball-on-Cylinder Lubricity Evaluator (BOCLE) has emerged as the most significant test. BOCLE was originally a lubricant research device modified for low viscosity jet fuel when the Air Force encountered fuel control problems in 1965 with JP-4. It proved to be capable of detecting the presence of additives such as corrosion inhibitors which improve boundary lubrication properties and also the absence of natural lubricity agents in highly refined jet fuel. The Coordinating Research Council carried out several programs to investigate test variables such as cylinder type, humidity control and load. A semi-automated version using Falex test rings has now been commercialized and is being used to test fuels from aircraft experiencing abnormal pump wear and fuel control hang-up.