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Technical Paper

Morphological Characterisation of Gasoline Soot-in-Oil: Development of Semi-Automated 2D-TEM and Comparison with Novel High-Throughput 3D-TEM

Morphology of soot nanoparticles is characteristically complex and 3-dimensional, and plays a defining role in soot-related phenomena. Morphological characterisation of soot is essential to understand the extent of such effects, including harm to human health, and develop strategies to mitigate them. Use of 2D-TEM for characterisation is associated with numerous and significant sources of error and uncertainty related to a 2D-3D information gap. Volume reconstruction by 3D-TEM avoids many of these sources of error, and has been shown in simulation studies to be highly accurate. However, the technique has traditionally been too slow to permit study of enough individual structures to satisfactorily characterise a bulk soot-sample. Similarly, the prevalence of manual image processing in 2D-TEM studies of soot can limit characterisations to as few as 50 individual particles per sample.
Technical Paper

Soot in the Lubricating Oil: An Overlooked Concern for the Gasoline Direct Injection Engine?

Formation of soot is a known phenomenon for diesel engines, however, only recently emerged for gasoline engines with the introduction of direct injection systems. Soot-in-oil samples from a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine have been analysed. The samples were collected from the oil sump after periods of use in predominantly urban driving conditions with start-stop mode activated. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was performed to measure the soot content in the drained oils. Soot deposition rates were similar to previously reported rates for diesel engines, i.e. 1 wt% per 15,000 km, thus indicating a similar importance. Morphology was assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Images showed fractal agglomerates comprising multiple primary particles with characteristic core-shell nanostructure. Furthermore, large amorphous structures were observed. Primary particle sizes ranged from 12 to 55 nm, with a mean diameter of 30 nm and mode at 31 nm.
Technical Paper

Morphological Characterisation of Diesel Soot in Oil and the Associated Extraction Dependence

The size and morphology of soot particles and agglomerates extracted from lubricating oil drawn from the sump of a diesel engine have been investigated and compared using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). Samples were prepared for electron microscopy imaging by both centrifugation and solvent extraction to investigate the impact of these procedures on the morphological characteristics, such as skeleton length and width and circularity, of the obtained soot. It was shown that centrifugation increases the extent of agglomeration within the sample, with 15% of the agglomerates above 200 nm compared to only 11% in the solvent extracted soot. It was also observed that the width of centrifugation extracted soot was typically 10 nm to 20 nm larger than that of solvent extracted soot, suggesting that centrifugation forces the individual agglomerate chains together.
Journal Article

The Application of New Approaches to the Analysis of Deposits from the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester (JFTOT)

Studies of diesel system deposits continue to be the subject of interest and publications worldwide. The introduction of high pressure common rail systems resulting in high fuel temperatures in the system with the concomitant use of fuels of varying solubilizing ability (e.g. ULSD and FAME blends) have seen deposits formed at the tip of the injector and on various internal injector components. Though deposit control additives (DCAs) have been successfully deployed to mitigate the deposit formation, work is still required to understand the nature and composition of these deposits. The study of both tip and internal diesel injector deposits (IDID) has seen the development of a number of bench techniques in an attempt to mimic field injector deposits in the laboratory. One of the most used of these is the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester or JFTOT (ASTM D3241).
Technical Paper

Cyclically Resolved Flame and Flow Imaging in an SI Engine Operating with Future Ethanol Fuels

This work was concerned with study of the in-cylinder flow field and flame development in a spark ignition research engine equipped with Bowditch piston optical access. High-speed natural light (chemiluminescence) imaging and simultaneous in-cylinder pressure data measurement and analysis were used to understand the fundamentals of flame propagation for a variety of ethanol fuels blended with either gasoline or iso-octane. PIV was undertaken on the same engine in a motoring operation at a horizontal imaging plane close to TDC (10 mm below the fire face) throughout the compression stroke (30°,40°,90° and 180°bTDC) for a low load engine operating condition at 1500rpm/0.5 bar inlet plenum pressure. Up to 1500 cycles were considered to determine the ensemble average flow-field and turbulent kinetic energy. Finally, comparisons were made between the flame and flow experiments to understand the apparent interactions.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Methods for Modelling Mid-to-High Frequency Vibro-Acoustic Energy Distributions in a Vehicle Floor Structure

Car floor structures typically contain a number of smaller-scale features which make them challenging for vibro-acoustic modelling beyond the low frequency regime. The floor structure considered here consists of a thin shell floor panel connected to a number of rails through spot welds leading to an interesting multi-scale modelling problem. Structures of this type are arguably best modelled using hybrid methods, where a Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) description of the larger thin shell regions is combined with a finite element model (FEM) for the stiffer rails. In this way the modal peaks from the stiff regions are included in the overall prediction, which a pure SEA treatment would not capture. However, in the SEA regions, spot welds, geometrically dependent features and directivity of the wave field are all omitted. In this work we present an SEA/FEM hybrid model of a car floor and discuss an alternative model for the SEA subsystem using Discrete Flow Mapping (DFM).
Journal Article

Discrete Flow Mapping - A Mesh Based Simulation Tool for Mid-to-High Frequency Vibro-Acoustic Excitation of Complex Automotive Structures

Modelling the vibro-acoustic properties of mechanical built-up structures is a challenging task, especially in the mid to high frequency regime, even with the computational resources available today. Standard modelling tools for complex vehicle parts include finite and boundary element methods (FEM and BEM), as well as Multi-Body Simulations (MBS). These methods are, however, robust only in the low frequency regime. In particular, FEM is not scalable to higher frequencies due to the prohibitive increase in model size. We have recently developed a new method called Discrete Flow Mapping (DFM), which extends existing high frequency methods, such as Statistical Energy Analysis or the so-called Dynamical Energy Analysis (DEA), to work on meshed structures. It provides for the first time detailed spatial information about the vibrational energy of a whole built-up structure of arbitrary complexity in this frequency range.
Journal Article

A Novel Diagnostics Tool for Measuring Soot Agglomerates Size Distribution in Used Automotive Lubricant Oils

The determination of size distribution of soot particles and agglomerates in oil samples using a Nanosight LM14 to perform Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) is described. This is the first application of the technique to sizing soot-in-oil agglomerates and offers the advantages of relatively high rates of sample analysis and low cost compared to Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Lubricating oil samples were drawn from the sump of automotive diesel engines run under a mix of light duty operating conditions. The oil samples were diluted with heptane before analysing. Results from NTA analysis were compared with the outputs of a more conventional analysis based on Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). This work shows that soot-in-oil exists as agglomerates with average size of 115 nm. This is also in good agreement with TEM analysis carried out in a previous work. NTA can measure soot particles in polydisperse oil solutions and report the size distribution of soot-in-oil aggregates.
Journal Article

A Novel Technique for Investigating the Characteristics and History of Deposits Formed Within High Pressure Fuel Injection Equipment

The recent developments in diesel fuel injection equipment coupled with the moves in the US to using ULSD and biodiesel blends has seen an increase in the number of reports from both engine manufacturers and fleet operators regarding fuel system deposit formation issues. These deposits not only form on and within the fuel injectors but they also form elsewhere in the fuel system, due to fuel recirculation. These will eventually accumulate in the fuel filters. Historically, diesel fuel system deposits have been attributed to contamination of the fuel or the degradation of the fuel with age. Such age related degradation has been attributed to oxidation of the fuel via well documented pathways, although the initiation of this process is still poorly understood. Papers at recent SAE meetings in Florence, San Antonio, Rio de Janeiro, San Diego and Kyoto have addressed many of these causes.