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Technical Paper

Variation of Piston Ring Oil Film Thickness in an Internal Combustion Engine - Comparison Between Thrust and Anti-Thrust Sides

This paper describes a measurement method using laser induced fluorescence we have developed for simple simultaneous measurements of piston ring oil film thickness at plural points for internal combustion engines. The findings obtained by the measurements of oil film thickness on both thrust and anti-thrust sides of the piston for a mono-cylinder compact diesel engine using this new measurement method are also discussed in this paper. One of main findings is that the oil film thickness of each ring on both sides differs markedly in terms of the absolute value and the stroke- to-stroke variation. It is found that this difference in oil film thickness is caused by the difference in the amount of lubricating oil supplied to the oil ring, and the effect is greater than that of engine speed or load.
Technical Paper

Variation of Piston Friction Force and Ring Lubricating Condition in a Diesel Engine with EGR

Exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) causes the piston rings and cylinder liners of a Diesel engine to suffer abnormal wear on the sliding parts. The present study aimed at making clear such abnormal wear structurally by examining the state of lubrication of the piston with a floating liner method, observing directly a visualized cylinder and experimenting on a Diesel engine for wear. As a result, it was confirmed that soot in EGR gas would change a lot the characteristics of the piston friction force. There are two mechanisms: one directly enters the sliding surfaces, and the other enters the ring rear, applying more load to them. It was also confirmed that the level of wear on the piston ring would vary to a large extent as the state of lubrication changed.
Technical Paper

Thermodynamic Characteristics of Premixed Compression Ignition Combustions

Thermodynamic characteristics of premixed compression ignition combustions were clarified quantitatively by heat balance estimation. Heat balance was calculated from temperature, mole fractions of intake and exhaust gases, mass and properties of fuels. Heat balance estimation was conducted for three types of combustion; a conventional diesel combustion, a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion; fuel is provided and mixed with air in an intake pipe in this case, and an extremely early injection type PREmixed lean DIesel Combustion (PREDIC). The results show that EGR should be applied for premixed compression ignition combustion to complete combustion at lower load conditions and to control ignition timing at higher load conditions. With an application of EGR, both HCCI and PREDIC showed low heat loss characteristics at lower load conditions up to 1/2 load.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Crank Ratio and Crankshaft Offset on Piston Friction Losses

A study was conducted to understand the effects the specifications of the crank-slider mechanism have on piston friction losses. The information obtained through the study is believed to be useful information for reducing the piston friction. A single-cylinder spark-ignited gasoline engine was designed and constructed to have not only a real-time piston friction measurement system using the floating liner method, but also provisions to facilitate changing the specifications of the crank-slider mechanism. This paper describes the study results obtained under various engine-operating conditions and reports the parametric test results of three crank ratios and five crankshaft-offset amounts tested.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Oil Ring Geometry on Oil Film Thickness in the Circumferential Direction of the Cylinder

This paper describes measurements of oil film thickness of piston ring packages which have different oil control rings. The oil film thickness measurements were taken at three points, namely, the piston thrust side, front side and rear side, by the Laser Induced Fluorescence Method(LIF). One of the main findings is that the oil film thickness on the thrust side varies greatly from cycle to cycle, while cyclic variations are smaller on the front and rear sides. This difference is due to the smaller inclination of the oil control rings on the front and rear sides, compared with that on the thrust side. It is also found that oil consumption has a good correlation with oil film thickness on the thrust side and that the thrust side oil film thickness becomes thinner as the oil ring becomes narrower.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Crankshaft Offset on Piston Friction Force in a Gasoline Engine

Offsetting the crankshaft axis with respect to the cylinder axis has been thought to be a method to reduce piston side force[1]. Hence the piston friction is expected to be reduced. An automotive manufacturer has already used the crankshaft offset for a production gasoline engine to improve fuel economy. The authors have conducted research into the effect of crankshaft offset on the piston friction. A single-cylinder engine was modified to have a crankshaft offset. Piston frictional force was measured in real-time by using a floating liner method. In addition, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) technique was employed to measure oil film thickness on the piston skirt area, and a gap sensor was used to measure piston motion. As a result, the authors concluded that the effect of crankshaft offset on piston friction could not be explained only by its effect on the piston side force. In accordance with the measurement results, crankshaft offset changed piston slap motion.
Journal Article

Summary and Progress of the Hydrogen ICE Truck Development Project

A development project for a hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) system for trucks supporting Japanese freightage has been promoted as a candidate for use in future vehicles that meet ultra-low emission and anti-global warming targets. This project aims to develop a hydrogen ICE truck that can handle the same freight as existing trucks. The core development technologies for this project are a direct-injection (DI) hydrogen ICE system and a liquid hydrogen tank system which has a liquid hydrogen pump built-in. In the first phase of the project, efforts were made to develop the DI hydrogen ICE system. Over the past three years, the following results have been obtained: A high-pressure hydrogen gas direct injector developed for this project was applied to a single-cylinder hydrogen ICE and the indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) corresponding to a power output of 147 kW in a 6-cylinder hydrogen ICE was confirmed.
Technical Paper

Study on Mechanism of Backfire in Hydrogen Engines

In this study, the cause of backfire concerning an external mixture formation type hydrogen engine was clarified. It has been known that the maximum output power of the external mixture formation type hydrogen engine should be kept significantly low, because of backfire. Generally, the backfire of this type of hydrogen engine is caused by pre-ignition. In this type of hydrogen engine, pre-ignition occurred for a range of lean mixture. Under this study, therefore, the relationship between the occurrence of backfire and the temperature at the tip of the spark plug electrode, and the detection of the luminescence spectrum of the flame near the spark plug were examined and studied in relation to the spark plug ignition theory which appeared to be promising. Then the pre-ignition timing and location were studied by detecting the flame luminescence spectrum.
Technical Paper

Research and Development of a Hydrogen-Fueled Engine for Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicle with internal combustion engine fueled with hydrogen can be a competitor to the fuel cell electric vehicle that is thought to be the ultimately clean and efficient vehicle. The objective in this research is to pursue higher thermal efficiency and lower exhaust emissions in a hydrogen-fueled engine for the series type hybrid vehicle system. Influences of compression ratio, surface / volume ratio of combustion chamber, and boost pressure on thermal efficiency and exhaust emissions were analyzed. Results showed that reduction of the surface / volume ratio by increased cylinder bore was effective to improve indicated thermal efficiency, and it was possible to achieve 44% of indicated thermal efficiency. However, brake thermal efficiency resulted in 35.5%. It is considered that an improved mechanical efficiency by an optimized engine design could increase the brake thermal efficiency largely.
Technical Paper

Reduction of Cooling Loss in Hydrogen Combustion by Direct Injection Stratified Charge

Hydrogen can be readily used in spark-ignition engines as a clean alternative to fossil fuels. However, a larger burning velocity and a shorter quenching distance for hydrogen as compared with hydrocarbons bring a larger cooling loss from burning gas to the combustion-chamber wall. Because of the large cooling loss, the thermal efficiency of a hydrogen-fueled engine is sometimes lower than that of a conventionally fueled engine. Therefore, the reduction of the cooling loss is very important for improving the thermal efficiency in hydrogen-combustion engines. On the other hand, the direct-injection stratified charge can suppress knocking in spark-ignition engines at near stoichiometric overall mixture conditions. Because this is attributed to a leaner end gas, the stratification can lead to a lowered temperature of burning gas around the wall and a reduced cooling loss.
Technical Paper

Piston Slap Motion and Engine Noise under Low Temperature Idling Operation of Diesel Engines

Diesel engines make a shrill noise called “idle knock” under low temperature idling operation. This causes a serious noise pollution problem in automobile diesel engines. It was clarified by this study that one important source of this noise was piston slap impulse. Piston slap motion was measured under usual operating conditions and a condition with additional oil supplied into the piston clearance. The piston slap motion was calculated taking into account the frictional resistances of the crank mechanism and squeeze action of oil film. It was concluded that only a negligible amount of oil existed in the piston clearance for the squeeze action.
Technical Paper

Part 3: A Study of Friction and Lubrication Behavior for Gasoline Piston Skirt Profile Concepts

This paper deals with the friction performance results for various new concept piston skirt profiles. The program was conducted under the assumption that friction performance varies by the total amount of oil available at each crank angle in each stroke and the instantaneous distribution of the oil film over the piston skirt area. In previous papers [1,2] it was that lower friction designs would be expected to show higher skirt slap noise. This paper discusses the correlation between friction and skirt slap for each new concept profile design. Finally, this paper explains the friction reduction mechanism for the test samples for each stroke of the engine cycle by observing the skirt movement and oil lubrication pattern using a visualization engine.
Technical Paper

Part 2: The Effects of Lubricating Oil Film Thickness Distribution on Gasoline Engine Piston Friction

Due to increasing economic and environmental performance requirements of internal combustion engines, piston manufacturers now focus more on lower friction designs. One factor strongly influencing the friction behavior of pistons is the dynamic interaction between lubricating oil, cylinder bore and piston. Therefore, the dynamic effect of the oil film in the gap between the liner and piston has been studied, using a single cylinder engine equipped with a sapphire window. This single cylinder engine was also equipped with a floating liner, enabling real-time friction measurement, and directly linking the oil film behavior to friction performance of pistons.
Technical Paper

Part 1: Piston Friction and Noise Study of Three Different Piston Architectures for an Automotive Gasoline Engine

The objective was to rank piston friction and noise for three piston architectures at three cold clearance conditions. Piston secondary motion was measured using four gap sensors mounted on each piston skirt to better understand the friction and noise results. One noticeable difference in friction performance from conventional designs was as engine speed increased the friction force during the expansion stroke decreased. This was accompanied by relatively small increases in friction force during the other strokes so Friction Mean Effective Pressure (FMEP) for the whole cycle was reduced. Taguchi's Design of Experiment method was used to analyze the variances in friction and noise.
Technical Paper

Oil Film Thickness Measurement and Analysis of a Three Ring Pack in an Operating Diesel Engine

Oil film thicknesses of the piston top ring and the second ring of a truck diesel engine have been measured simultaneously by embedding capacitance type clearance sensors in the ring sliding surfaces. Owing to the above, several phenomena such as the variation in oil film thickness of each ring in one cycle, correlation between the rings, difference in oil film thickness between the thrust and counter thrust-sides, effects of engine operating conditions on oil film thickness, etc. have been determined. Efforts have been also made to analyze the causes of such phenomena according to the measured results of piston slap motion and ring motions, and the calculated results of oil film thickness.
Technical Paper

New Combustion Concept for Ultra-Clean and High-Efficiency Small DI Diesel Engines

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions of diesel vehicles are regarded as a source of air pollution, and there is a global trend to enforce more stringent regulations on these exhaust gas constituents in the early years of the 21st century. On the other hand, the excellent thermal efficiency of diesel engines is certainly a welcome attribute from the standpoints of conserving energy and curbing global warming. Recently, many research institutes around the world have been using high-efficiency direct-injection (DI) diesel engines to research emission control technologies. The authors have also been engaged in such research [1,2]. As a result of this work, we have developed a new combustion concept, called Modulated Kinetics (MK), that reduces NOx and smoke simultaneously due to low-temperature and premixed combustion characteristics, respectively, without increasing fuel consumption [3,4].
Technical Paper

Measurement of Piston-Skirt Deformation in Engine Operation by Means of Rotating Cylinder with Gap-Sensors

An unique measurement method was developed for measurement of the piston outer surface during the engine operation. The method was realized by embedding a gap sensor into a cylinder bore and by rotating the cylinder in the circumferential direction. By means of this method, interesting data of skirt deformation of a gasoline engine caused by temperature, pressure and the slap force were obtained.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Piston Skirt Oil-film Pressure under Piston Slap

Using small thin-film pressure sensors deposited onto a piston skirt surface, oil-film pressure on the piston skirt surface is measured when piston slap noise is generated without affecting the surface geometry, stiffness and mass of the piston. Under a no-load firing engine condition and at low temperature, the measured oil-film pressure corresponded well to the measured acceleration of the cylinder liner, which is indicative of piston slap noise, confirming the validity of the present method. Moreover, the oil-film pressure distribution on the skirt surface was measured for different engine speeds and piston pin offsets, which enabled more insight to be provided into piston secondary motion than that by considering the effects of cylinder liner acceleration.
Journal Article

Measurement of Oil Film Pressure in the Main Bearings of an Operating Engine Using Thin-Film Sensors

We developed a technique to measure oil film pressure distribution in engine main bearings using thin-film pressure sensors. The sensor is 7μm in thickness, and is processed on the surface of an aluminum alloy bearing. In order to increase the durability of the sensor, a layer of MoS2 and polyamide-imide was coated on thin-film sensors. This technique was applied to a 1.4L common-rail diesel engine operated at a maximum speed of 4,500r/min with a 100Nm full load, and the oil film pressure was monitored while the engine was operating. The measured pressure was compared with calculations based on hydrodynamic lubrication (HL) theory.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Instantaneous Heat Flux Flowing Into Metallic and Ceramic Combustion Chamber Walls

Accurate measurements of combustion gas temperature and the coefficient of heat transfer between the gas and the combustion chamber wall of internal combustion engine in cyclic operations are difficult at present. Hence the only method available for determination of states of thermal load and heat loss to the combustion chamber wall in a cycle is to measure the instantaneous temperature on the combustion chamber wall surface accurately and precisely using proper thin-film thermocouples, then to calculate the instantanenous heat flux flowing into the wall surface by means of numerical analysis. However, it is necessary to pay adequate attention to the effects of thermophysical properties of the thermocouple materials on the measured values, since any thermocouple consists of several kinds of materials which are different from those of portions to be measured.