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Technical Paper

A Piston Ring-Pack Film Thickness and Friction Model for Multigrade Oils and Rough Surfaces

A complete one-dimensional mixed lubrication model has been developed to predict oil film thickness and friction of the piston ring-pack. An average flow model and a roughness contact model are used to consider the effects of surface roughness on both hydrodynamic and boundary lubrication. Effects of shear-thinning and liner temperature on lubricant viscosity are included. An inlet condition is applied by considering the unsteady wetting location at the leading edge of the ring. A ‘film non-separation’ exit condition is proposed to replace Reynolds exit condition when the oil squeezing becomes dominant. Three lubrication modes are considered in the model, namely, pure hydrodynamic, mixed, and pure boundary lubrication. All of these considerations are crucial for studying the oil transport, asperity contact, and friction especially in the top dead center (TDC) region where the oil control ring cannot reach.
Technical Paper

Modeling of the Rotary Engine Apex Seal Lubrication

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.
Technical Paper

A One-Line Correlation for Predicting Oil Vaporization from Liner for IC Engines

The increasingly stringent regulations for fuel economy and emissions require better optimization and control of oil consumption. One of the primary mechanisms of oil consumption is vaporization from the liner; we consider this as the “minimum oil consumption (MOC).” This paper presents a physical-mathematical cycle model for predicting the MOC. The numerical simulations suggest that the MOC is markedly sensitive to oil volatility, liner temperature, engine load and speed but less sensitive to oil film thickness. A one-line correlation is proposed for quick MOC estimations. It is shown to have <15% error compared to the cycle MOC computation. In the “dry region” (between top ring and OCR at the TDC), oil is depleted due to high heat and continual exposure to the combustion chamber.
Journal Article

A Study of the Friction of Oil Control Rings Using the Floating Liner Engine

The oil control ring (OCR) controls the supply of lubricating oil to the top two rings of the piston ring pack and has a significant contribution to friction of the system. This study investigates the two most prevalent types of OCR in the automotive market: the twin land oil control ring (TLOCR) and three piece oil control ring (TPOCR). First, the basis for TLOCR friction on varying liner roughness is established. Then the effect of changing the land width and spring tension on different liner surfaces for the TLOCR is investigated, and distinct trends are identified. A comparison is then done between the TLOCR and TPOCR on different liner surfaces. Results showed the TPOCR displayed different patterns of friction compared the TLOCR in certain cases.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Evolution of Fuel and Lubricant Interactions on the Liner in Internal Combustion Engines

In internal combustion engines, a portion of liquid fuel spray may directly land on the liner and mix with oil (lubricant), forming a fuel-oil film (~10μm) that is much thicker than the original oil film (~0.1μm). When the piston retracts in the compression stroke, the fuel-oil mixture may have not been fully vaporized and can be scraped by the top ring into the 1st land crevice and eventually enter the combustion chamber in the format of droplets. Studies have shown that this mechanism is possibly a leading cause for low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI) as the droplets contain oil that has a much lower self-ignition temperature than pure fuel. In this interest, this work aims to study the oil-fuel interactions on the liner during an engine cycle, addressing molecular diffusion (in the liquid film) and vaporization (at the liquid-gas interface) to quantify the amount of fuel and oil that are subject to scraping by the top ring, thereby exploring their implications on LSPI and friction.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Oil Transport between Piston Skirt and Cylinder Liner in Internal Combustion Engines

The distribution of lubricating oil plays a critical role in determining the friction between piston skirt and cylinder liner, which is one of the major contributors to the total friction loss in internal combustion engines. In this work, based upon the experimental observation an existing model for the piston secondary motion and skirt lubrication was improved with a physics-based model describing the oil film separation from full film to partial film. Then the model was applied to a modern turbo-charged SI engine. The piston-skirt FMEP predicted by the model decreased with larger installation clearance, which was also observed from the measurements using IMEP method at the rated. It was found that the main period of the cycle exhibiting friction reduction is in the expansion stroke when the skirt only contacts the thrust side for all tested installation clearances.