Tribological Behavior of Low Viscosity Lubricants in the Piston to Bore Zone of a Modern Spark Ignition Engine
Most major regional automotive markets have stringent legislative targets for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions or fuel economy enforced by fiscal penalties. Large improvements in vehicle efficiency on mandated test cycles have already taken place in some markets through the widespread adoption of technologies such as downsizing or dieselization. There is now increased focus on approaches which give smaller but significant incremental efficiency benefits such as reducing parasitic losses due to engine friction. Fuel economy improvements which achieve this through the development of advanced engine lubricants are very attractive to vehicle manufacturers due to their favorable cost-benefit ratio. For an engine with components which operate predominantly in the hydrodynamic lubrication regime, the most significant lubricant parameter which can be changed to improve the tribological performance of the system is the lubricant viscosity.