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Technical Paper

Modeling of the Rotary Engine Apex Seal Lubrication

2015-09-01
2015-01-2035
The Wankel rotary engine is more compact than conventional piston engines, but its oil and fuel consumption must be reduced to satisfy emission standards and customer expectations. A key step toward this goal is to develop a better understanding of the apex seal lubrication to reduce oil injection while reducing friction and maintaining adequate wear. This paper presents an apex seal dynamics model capable of estimating relative wear and predicting friction, by modeling the gas and oil flows at the seal interfaces with the rotor housing and groove flanks. Model predictions show that a thin oil film can reduce wear and friction, but to a limited extent as the apex seal running face profile is sharp due to the engine kinematics.
Journal Article

Oil Transport Cycle Model for Rotary Engine Oil Seals

2014-04-01
2014-01-1664
The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. A model of the oil seals is developed to calculate internal oil consumption (oil leakage from the crankcase through the oil seals) as a function of engine geometry and operating conditions. The deformation of the oil seals trying to conform to housing distortion is calculated to balance spring force, O-ring and groove friction, and asperity contact and hydrodynamic pressure at the interface. A control volume approach is used to track the oil over a cycle on the seals, the rotor and the housing as the seals are moving following the eccentric rotation of the rotor. The dominant cause of internal oil consumption is the non-conformability of the oil seals to the housing distortion generating net outward scraping, particularly next to the intake and exhaust port where the housing distortion valleys are deep and narrow.
Journal Article

Visualization of the Rotary Engine Oil Transport Mechanisms

2014-04-01
2014-01-1665
The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. In order to better understand oil transport, a laser induced fluorescence technique is used to visualize oil motion on the side of the rotor during engine operation. Oil transport from both metered oil and internal oil is observed. Starting from inside, oil accumulates in the rotor land during inward motion of the rotor created by its eccentric motion. Oil seals are then scraping the oil outward due to seal-housing clearance asymmetry between inward and outward motion. Cut-off seal does not provide an additional barrier to internal oil consumption. Internal oil then mixes with metered oil brought to the side of the rotor by gas leakage. Oil is finally pushed outward by centrifugal force, passes the side seals, and is thrown off in the combustion chamber.
Journal Article

A Dual Grid Curved Beam Finite Element Model of Piston Rings for Improved Contact Capabilities

2014-04-01
2014-01-1085
Piston rings are large contributors to friction losses in internal combustion engines. To achieve higher engine efficiency, low friction ring packs that can maintain good sealing performance must be designed. To support this effort, simulation tools have been developed to model the performance of piston rings during engine operation. However, the challenge of predicting oil consumption, blow by, and ring pack friction with sufficient accuracy remains. This is mostly due to the complexity of this system. Ring dynamics, deformation, interaction with liner and piston, gas and lubricant flow must all be studied together to make relevant predictions. In this paper, a new curved beam finite element model of piston rings is proposed. Ring structural deformation and contact with the liner are treated on two separate grids. A comparison with ring models in the literature and analytical solutions shows that it can provide accurate results efficiently.
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