Study of Friction Optimization Potential for Lubrication Circuits of Light-duty Diesel Engines
Over the last two decades, engine research has been mainly focused on reducing fuel consumption in view of compliance with stringent homologation targets and customer expectations. As it is well known, the objective of overall engine efficiency optimization can be achieved only through the improvement of each element of the efficiency chain, of which mechanical constitutes one of the two key pillars (together with thermodynamics). In this framework, the friction reduction for each mechanical subsystems has been one of the most important topics of modern diesel engine development. In particular, the present paper analyzes the lubrication circuit potential as contributor to the mechanical efficiency improvement, by investigating the synergistic impact of oil circuit design, oil viscosity characteristics (including new ultra-low formulations) and thermal management. For this purpose, a combination of theoretical and experimental tools were used.