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.