New Approaches to Lube Oil Consumption Measurement Based on the Tracer Method
In the research and development of internal combustion engines, there are several drivers for developing an accurate online lube oil consumption (LOC) measurement system. Lube oil consumption is considered to be a root cause of hydrocarbon and particle emissions and lubricating oil autoignition. It also negatively influences the life cycle cost for engine operators. Highly accurate measurement of lube oil consumption must be possible before it can be reduced - or rather optimized - to levels stakeholders will require in the future. State-of-the-art methods such as gravimetric and volumetric measurements are not fully satisfactory for several reasons. Generally, offline LOC measurement is no longer suitable for fast and accurate measuring cycles, oil condition monitoring and wear monitoring. At present, tracer methods are considered to be the most promising approach. However, current tracer methods have their downsides as well.