Investigation and Analysis of Wear in a 3.6L V6 Gasoline Engine: Phase I - Use of Radioactive Tracer Technology
Piston ring and liner wear measurements and analyses were performed in a production 3.6L V6 gasoline engine with radiolabelled engine parts. Three isotopes were generated: one in the engine liner using surface layer activation; one each in the top ring face and top ring side using bulk activation. Real-time wear measurements and subsequent rates of these three surfaces were captured using the radioactive decay of the isotopes into the engine oiling system. In addition, surface roughness and wear profile measurements were carried out using white light interferometry. The results from Phase I provided insights on evolution of wear and wear rates in critical engine components in a gasoline engine. Phase II will extend this work further and focus on evaluating the fuel additive effects on engine wear.