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Technical Paper

In Situ Control of Lubricant Properties for Reduction of Power Cylinder Friction through Thermal Barrier Coating

Lowering lubricant viscosity to reduce friction generally carries a side-effect of increased metal-metal contact in mixed or boundary lubrication, for example near top ring reversal along the engine cylinder liner. A strategy to reduce viscosity without increased metal-metal contact involves controlling the local viscosity away from top-ring-reversal locations. This paper discusses the implementation of insulation or thermal barrier coating (TBC) as a means of reducing local oil viscosity and power cylinder friction in internal combustion engines with minimal side-effects of increased wear. TBC is selectively applied to the outside diameter of the cylinder liner to increase the local oil temperature along the liner. Due to the temperature dependence of oil viscosity, the increase in temperature from insulation results in a decrease in the local oil viscosity.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Base Oil Viscosity Temperature Dependence For Power Cylinder Friction Reduction

Lubricant viscosity along the engine cylinder liner varies by an order of magnitude due to local temperature variation and vaporization effects. Tremendous potential exists for fuel economy improvement by optimizing local viscosity variations for specific operating conditions. Methods for analytical estimation of friction and wear in the power-cylinder system are reviewed and used to quantify opportunities for improving mechanical efficiency and fuel economy through lubricant formulation tailored specifically to liner temperature distributions. Temperature dependent variations in kinematic viscosity, density, shear thinning, and lubricant composition are investigated. Models incorporating the modified Reynolds equation were used to estimate friction and wear under the top ring and piston skirt of a typical 11.0 liter diesel engine.