Simultaneous Piston Ring Friction and Oil Film Thickness Measurements in a Reciprocating Test Rig
A reciprocating test apparatus was constructed in which the friction of a single piston ring against a liner segment was measured. The lubrication oil film thickness was also measured simultaneously at the mid stroke of the ring travel using a laser fluorescence technique. The apparatus development and operation are described. Results are presented from a test matrix consisting of five different lubrication oils of viscosity (at 30°C) ranging from 49 to 357 cP; at three mean piston speeds of 0.45, 0.89 and 1.34 m/s; and at three ring normal loading of 1.4, 2.9 and 5.7 MPa. At mid stroke, the oil film thickness under the ring was ∼0.5 to 4 μm; the frictional coefficient was ∼0.02 to 0.1. The frictional coefficient for all the lubricants tested increased with normal load, and decreased with piston velocity. Both mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes were observed. The friction behaviors were consistent with the Stribeck diagram.