A Correlation Between Engine Oil Rheology and Oil Film Thickness in Engine Journal Bearings
Oil film thickness measurements made in the front main bearing of an operating 3.8 L, V-6 engine were compared with rheological measurements made on a series of commercial and experimental oil blends. High-temperature, high-shear-rate viscosity measurements correlated with the film thicknesses of all single-grade and many multigrade oils. However, the film thicknesses provided by some multigrade oils were larger than could be accounted for by their high-temperature, high-shear-rate viscosities alone. Although the pressure-viscosity coefficients of some of the oils were significantly different from those of the majority of oils tested, they were not oils which produced unusual film thicknesses. As a consequence, correcting oil viscosities for the estimated pressures acting within the bearing was unsuccessful in improving the correlations. The correlations were improved, however, by accounting for the elastic properties of the multigrade oils.