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Technical Paper

A Study on Engine Bearing Performance Focusing on the Viscosity-Pressure Characteristic of the Lubricant and Housing Stiffness

It is important to understand the influence of housing stiffness on bearing performance, particularly for the connecting rod bearings of automotive engines. It is known that the engine lubricant shows a piezoviscous characteristic whereby its viscosity changes under the influence of pressure. Engine bearings under a heavy load are apt to be influenced in this way. In this study, the effects of connecting rod stiffness and lubricant piezoviscosity on bearing performance were examined by elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) analysis under conditions corresponding to the high-speed operation of an actual engine. The results indicated that under such heavy load conditions housing stiffness greatly affects friction loss because of lubricant piezoviscosity. It was also found that the piezoviscosity of the lubricant has a large effect on bearing performance, as does its viscosity under atmospheric pressure.
Technical Paper

A Numerical Model of Piston Secondary Motion and Piston Slap in Partially Flooded Elastohydrodynamic Skirt Lubrication

This paper presents a numerical model of the rotational and lateral dynamics of the piston (secondary motion) and piston slap in mixed lubrication. Piston dynamic behavior, frictional and impact forces are predicted as functions of crank angle. The model considers piston skirt surface waviness, roughness, skirt profile, thermal and mechanical deformations. The model considers partially-flooded skirt and calculates the pressure distributions and friction in the piston skirt region for both hydrodynamic and boundary lubrication. Model predictions are compared with measurements of piston position using gap sensors in a single-cylinder engine and the comparison between theory and measurement shows remarkable agreement.
Technical Paper

Engine Experiments on the Effects of Design and Operational Parameters on Piston Secondary Motion and Piston Slap

Experiments were done to quantify the dynamic motion of the piston and oil-film during piston impact on the cylinder bore, commonly known as “piston slap.” Parameters measured include engine block vibration, piston-skirt to liner separation, oil-film thickness between the piston and liner, and other engine operating conditions. Experimental parametric studies were performed covering the following: engine operating parameters - spark timing, liner temperature, oil-film thickness, oil type, and engine speed; and engine design parameters - piston-skirt surface waviness, piston-skirt/cylinder-liner clearance, and wrist-pin offset. Two dynamic modes of piston-motion-induced vibration were observed, and effects of changes in engine operating and design parameters were investigated for both types of slap. It was evident that engine design parameters have stronger effects on piston slap intensity, with piston-skirt/liner clearance and wrist-pin offset being the dominant parameters.
Technical Paper

Research on Crankshaft System Behavior Based on Coupled Crankshaft-Block Analysis

Achieving a multi-cylinder engine with excellent noise/vibration character sties and low friction at the main bearings requires an optimal design not only for the crankshaft construction but also for the bearing support system of the cylinder block. To accomplish that, it is necessary to understand crankshaft system behavior and the bearing load distribution for each of the main bearings. Crankshaft system behavior has traditionally been evaluated experimentally because of the difficulty in performing calculations to predict resonance behavior over the entire engine speed range. A coupled crankshaft-block analysis method has been developed to calculate crankshaft system behavior by treating vibration and lubrication in a systematic manner. This method has the feature that the coupled behavior of the crankshaft and the cylinder block is analyzed by means of main bearing lubrication calculations. This paper presents the results obtained with this method.
Technical Paper

Venturi Vacuum Transducer Enables Heavy EGR Control

In order to significantly reduce NOx levels by EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), while maintaining good fuel economy and driveability, the EGR flow rate must be properly and accurately controlled under a variety of engine operating conditions. Toward this objective, a new EGR control system was developed. It utilizes a carburetor venturi vacuum for a stable reference signal that represents the engine operating condition and it controls the EGR flow rate by using a feedback principle to obtain sufficient flexibility compatible with several different engines. Its control characteristics were mathematically analyzed. And it has also been confirmed that the system can automatically compensate for the drift in EGR characteristics. This EGR control system has been utilized in Nissan’s emission control systems in order to comply with the 1978 Japanese Emission Standards and the 1980 U.S. Federal and California Emission Standards.
Technical Paper

A Lubrication Analysis of Multi Link VCR Engine Components using a Mixed Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication Theory Model

Research is under way on an engine system [1] that achieves a variable compression ratio using a multiple-link mechanism between the crankshaft and pistons for the dual purpose of improving fuel economy and power output. At present, there is no database that allows direct judgment of the feasibility of the specific sliding parts in this mechanism. In this paper, the feasibility was examined by making a comparison with the sliding characteristics and material properties of conventional engine parts, for which databases exist, and using evaluation parameters based on mixed elasto-hydrodynamic (EHD) lubrication calculations. In addition, the innovations made to the mixed EHD calculation method used in this study to facilitate calculations under various lubrication conditions are also explained, including the treatment of surface roughness, wear progress and stiffness around the bearings.
Technical Paper

HCCI Combustion on a Diesel VCR Engine

A variable compression ratio (VCR) technology, that has a new piston-crankshaft mechanism with multi links, has been patented and developed by Nissan for some years (This technology has been detailed in previous SAE paper 2003-01-0921 and 2005-01-1134). This paper will present the use of this VCR technology for Diesel engine. The objective set with the use of VCR for Diesel engine is mainly to reduce as much as possible engine out emission to prepare for long-term, more strict emission standards. Results presented will include the description of the 2l Diesel VCR engine and its VCR mechanism adapted to Diesel constraints. Combustion tests have been performed with the use of HCCI (Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition) combustion. This technology is still in a research phase in Renault: the adaptation of VCR technology to a Diesel engine consists in the modification of several parts with the addition of lower links, control links and control shaft.
Technical Paper

Functional Design of a Motor Integrated CVT for a Parallel HEV

We succeeded in developing a parallel hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) with a fuel efficiency in the 10-15 mode more than double that of existing vehicles of the same class of driving performance. A prominent feature of this HEV system is the belt-drive continuously variable transmission (CVT) with built-in traction motor and powder clutch. Adopting a more efficient configuration proved effective in minimizing cost increases and loss of space utility and offered the same reliability provided by existing vehicles. This paper discusses the functional design aspects of the parallel HEV system, which holds great promise for viable mass production.
Technical Paper

A Study on Engine Bearing Wear and Fatigue Using EHL Analysis and Experimental Analysis

The possibility of predicting engine bearing durability by elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) calculations was investigated with the aim of being able to improve durability efficiently without conducting numerous confirmation tests. This study focused on the connecting rod big-end bearing of an automotive engine. The mechanisms of wear and fatigue, which determine bearing durability, were estimated by comparing the results of EHL analysis and experimental data. This comparison showed the possibility of predicting the wear amount and the occurrence of fatigue by calculation.
Technical Paper

A Study of Friction Characteristics of Continuously Variable Valve Event & Lift (VEL) System

A continuously variable valve event and lift (VEL) system, actuated by oscillating cams, can provide optimum lift and event angles matching the engine operating conditions, thereby improving fuel economy, exhaust emission performance and power output. The VEL system allows small lift and event angles even in the engine operating region where the required intake air volume is small and the influence of valvetrain friction is substantial, such as during idling. Therefore, the system can reduce friction to lower levels than conventional valvetrains, which works to improve fuel economy. On the other hand, a distinct feature of oscillating cams is that their sliding velocity is zero at the time of peak lift, which differs from the behavior of conventional rotating cams. For that reason, it is assumed that the friction and lubrication characteristics of oscillating cams may differ from those of conventional cams.
Technical Paper

Compact and Long-Stroke Multiple-Link VCR Engine Mechanism

A multiple-link variable compression ratio (VCR) mechanism is suitable for a long-stroke engine by providing the following characteristics: (1) a nearly symmetric piston stroke and (2) an upper link that stays vertical around the time of the maximum combustion pressure. These two characteristics work to reduce force inputs to the piston. The maximum inertial force around top dead center is reduced by the effect of the first characteristic. The second characteristic is effective in reducing piston side thrust force and helps ease piston pin lubrication. Because of the combined effect of these characteristics, the piston skirt can be made smaller and the piston pin can be shortened. That makes it possible for the piston skirt and piston pin to move between the counterweights, resulting in a downward extension of the piston stroke. As a result, a longer-stroke engine mechanism can be achieved without making the cylinder block taller.
Technical Paper

The Effect of a Longer Stroke on Improving Fuel Economy of a Multiple-Link VCR Engine

Some automakers have been studying variable compression ratio (VCR) technology as one possible way of improving fuel economy. In previous studies, we have developed a VCR mechanism of a unique multiple-link configuration that achieves a piston stroke characterized by semi-sinusoidal oscillation and lower piston acceleration at top dead center than on conventional mechanisms. By controlling compression ratio with this multiple-link VCR mechanism so that it optimally matches any operating condition, the mechanism has demonstrated that both lower fuel consumption and higher output power are simultaneously possible. However, it has also been observed that fuel consumption does not reduce further once the compression ratio reached a certain level. This study focused on the fact that the piston-stroke characteristic obtained with the multiple-link mechanism is suitable to a longer stroke.