Diesel Fuel Lubricity
The United States and Europe are mandating increasingly severe diesel fuel specifications, particularly with respect to sulfur content, and in some areas, aromatics content. This trend is directed towards reducing vehicle exhaust emissions and is generally beneficial to fuel quality, ignition ratings, and stability. However, laboratory studies, as well as recent field experience in Sweden and the United States, indicate a possible reduction in the ability of fuels to lubricate sliding components within the fuel injection system. These factors, combined with the trend toward increasing injection pressure in modern engine design, are likely to result in reduced durability and failure of the equipment to meet long-term emissions compliance. The U.S. Army Belvoir Fuels and Lubricants Research Facility (BFLRF) located at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) developed an accelerated wear test that predicts the effects of fuel lubricity on injection system durability.