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Journal Article

Wear Properties of Car Engine Shaft in Actual Engine Environment

When evaluating the wear properties of slide bearings for car engines, it is a common practice to conduct long-term physical test using a bearing tester for screening purposes according to the revolution speed of the shaft, supply oil temperature and bearing pressure experienced in the actual use of engines. The loading waveform applied depends on the capability of the tester that is loaded, and it is often difficult to apply a loading waveform equivalent to that of actual engines. To design an engine that is more compact or lighter, it is necessary to reduce the dimensions of slide bearings and the distance between bearings. This requires loading tests on a newly designed engine by applying a loading waveform equivalent to that of actual engines to slide bearings and their vicinity before conducting a firing test. We therefore conducted an engine firing test by attaching thin-film sensors to the slide bearing part of the engine and measured the actual load distribution.
Technical Paper

Unsteady Three-Dimensional Computations of the Penetration Length and Mixing Process of Various Single High-Speed Gas Jets for Engines

For various densities of gas jets including very light hydrogen and relatively heavy ones, the penetration length and diffusion process of a single high-speed gas fuel jet injected into air are computed by performing a large eddy simulation (LES) with fewer arbitrary constants applied for the unsteady three-dimensional compressible Navier-Stokes equation. In contrast, traditional ensemble models such as the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equation have several arbitrary constants for fitting purposes. The cubic-interpolated pseudo-particle (CIP) method is employed for discretizing the nonlinear terms. Computations of single-component nitrogen and hydrogen jets were done under initial conditions of a fuel tank pressure of gas fuel = 10 MPa and back pressure of air = 3.5 MPa, i.e., the pressure level inside the combustion chamber after piston compression in the engine.
Technical Paper

Study on Ignition Timing Control for Diesel Engines Using In-Cylinder Pressure Sensor

As technologies for simultaneously maintaining the current high thermal efficiency of diesel engines and reducing particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions, many new combustion concepts have been proposed, including premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) and low-temperature combustion[1]. However, it is well known that since such new combustion techniques precisely control combustion temperatures and local air-fuel ratios by varying the amount of air, the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) ratio and the fuel injection timing, they have the issues of being less stable than conventional combustion techniques and of performance that is subject to variance in the fuel and driving conditions. This study concerns a system that addresses these issues by detecting the ignition timing with in-cylinder pressure sensors and by controlling the fuel injection timing and the amount of EGR for optimum combustion onboard.
Technical Paper

Study on Engine Management System Using In-cylinder Pressure Sensor Integrated with Spark Plug

There has been strong public demand for reduced hazardous exhaust gas emissions and improved fuel economy for automobile engines. In recent years, a number of innovative solutions that lead to a reduction in fuel consumption rate have been developed, including in-cylinder direct injection and lean burn combustion technologies, as well as an engine utilizing a large volume of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Furthermore, a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine is under development for actual application. However, one of the issues common to these technologies is less stable combustion, which causes difficulty in engine management. Additionally, it is now mandatory to provide an onboard diagnosis (OBD) system. This requires manufacturers to develop a technology that allows onboard monitoring and control of the combustion state. This paper reports on an innovative combustion diagnostic method using an in-cylinder pressure sensor.
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

Lubrication Technology and Analysis for Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) System

A new Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) system has been developed as an effective technology for reconciling environmental performance such as lowering the fuel consumption and exhaust emissions with driving performance. This system can continuously vary both the intake valve lift and event angle (valve opening duration) over a wide operating range to flexibly control the valve timing and lift for a substantial improvement in engine performance. In developing the variable valve lift control system, the essential merit is based on the fundmental configuration of multiple-link mechanism. However, it is required to resolve tribological issues for the specific mechnism. This paper describes the structure of the VVEL system and its operating and motion conversion principles. It also explains the mechanism analysis, dynamic stress analysis and lubrication simulation techniques used in developing the VVEL system, the materials adopted and the surface treatment techniques applied.
Technical Paper

Life Estimation of Rolling Bearings Based on the Colors on Sliding Surfaces

It is experimentally known that the surface color of bearing balls gradually becomes brown during long term operation of the bearings under appropriate lubrication conditions. That exhibits the possibility of an estimation method for residual life of ball bearings without any abnormal wear on the surfaces by precise color measurements. Therefore, we examined what set colors on bearing balls by surface observation using scanning electron microscopy and subsurface analysis using transmission electron microscopy. Results showed that an amorphous carbon layer had gradually covered ball surfaces during operation of the bearings. The layer not only changed ball color but also made overall ball shapes closer to a complete sphere. The report also introduces a uniquely developed color analyzer which enabled color measurements on metallic surfaces, such as the above-mentioned balls.
Technical Paper

Instantaneous Surface Temperature Measurement in Internal Combustion Engine Using Newly Developed Coaxial Type Thin-Film Temperature Sensor

In order to establish standard method to evaluate cooling loss in combustion chamber of internal combustion engines based on measurement of instantaneous heat flux / wall temperature with higher response and accuracy than previously reported coaxial type thin-film temperature sensor by applying thin film fabrication technology based on PVD method (Physical Vapor Deposition method) which improved to realize higher responsiveness than the conventional sensor was developed by the authors, and it was confirmed that the sensor has sufficient durability in conditions in which the hydrogen jet and flame directly contacts surface of the sensor by thin-film material change. The influence of the improvement on the measurement accuracy was verified by numerical analysis including thermoproperty evaluation. In this report, the configuration of measurement system that can measure minute voltage from the sensor with low noise and high response is reported.
Journal Article

In-Situ Measurement and Numerical Solution of Main Journal Bearing Lubrication in Actual Engine Environment

A simple method is frequently used to calculate a reciprocating engine’s bearing load from the measured cylinder pressure. However, it has become apparent that engine downsizing and weight reduction cannot be achieved easily if an engine is designed based on the simple method. Because of this, an actual load on a bearing was measured, and the measured load values were compared with a bearing load distribution calculated from cylinder pressure. As a result, it was found that some of actual loads were about half of the calculated ones at certain crank angles. The connecting rod’s elastic deformation was focused on as a factor behind such differences, and the rod’s deformation due to the engine’s explosion load was studied. As a result, it was found that the rod part of the engine’s connecting rod was bent by 0.2 mm and became doglegged. Additional investigation regarding these findings would allow further engine downsizing.
Technical Paper

Development of Coaxial Type Thin Film Temperature Sensor with Improved Measurement Accuracy Based on Principle of Thermoelectromotive Force

In order to verify cooling loss reduction effect of internal combustion engine, method for measuring wall surface temperature and heat flux with high accuracy is required. Various methods have been proposed for measuring the cooling loss from the combustion gas to the combustion chamber wall, newly coaxial type thin-film temperature sensor was developed for wall temperature and heat flux measurement by the authors. This sensor consists of thin-film and body and center wire have three junction positions in the case where three materials are different. Therefore, it is necessary to use the same materials for thin-film and body or thin-film and center wire to make two junction points. In this study, sputtering method that can be formed various kinds of alloy materials and film thickness of 0.1~1μm on the sensor surface was chosen.
Technical Paper

Attainment of High Thermal Efficiency and Near-zero Emissions by Optimizing Injected Spray Configuration in Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines

The authors have previously proposed a plume ignition and combustion concept (i.e., PCC combustion), in which a hydrogen fuel is directly injected to the combustion chamber in the latter half of compression stroke and forms a richer mixture plume. By combusting the plume, both cooling losses and NOx formation are reduced. In this study, thermal efficiency was substantially improved and NOx formation was reduced with PCC combustion by optimizing such characteristics as direction and diameter of the jets in combination with combustion of lean mixture. Output power declined due to the lean mixture, however, was recovered by supercharging while keeping NOx emissions at the same level. Thermal efficiency was further improved by slightly re-optimizing the jet conditions.
Journal Article

Analysis of Oil Film Generation on the Main Journal Bearing Using a Thin-Film Sensor and Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) Model

Reducing friction in the crankshaft main bearings is an effective means of improving the fuel efficiency of reciprocating internal combustion engines. To realize these improvements, it is necessary to understand the lubricating conditions, in particular the oil film pressure distributions between crankshaft and bearings. In this study, we developed a thin-film pressure sensor and applied it to the measurement of engine main bearing oil film pressure in a 4-cylinder, 2.5 L gasoline engine. This thin-film sensor is applied directly to the bearing surface by sputtering, allowing for measurement of oil film pressure without changing the shape and rigidity of the bearing. Moreover, the sensor material and shape were optimized to minimize influence from strain and temperature on the oil film pressure measurement. Measurements were performed at the No. 2 and 5 main bearings.
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

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

A Development of Measurement System for Piston Ring Sliding Surface Pressure

The piston rings, the engine sliding parts, are required to further contribute on mechanical loss reduction in order to improve fuel efficiency. However, many cases of the abnormal combustion due to oil upward flow, as well as the increase in oil consumption have been reported. Therefore, elucidation of the mechanism of those phenomena is still an urgent task. It is widely known that the distribution of the sliding face pressure in between the piston ring and the cylinder bore largely influence the oil flow via the sliding face of the piston ring. However, there are many unknown aspects in this field. Therefore, verification of the sliding face pressure during the actual operation is necessary in order to elucidate the mechanism of oil consumption. The thin-film sensor, since it has little influence on shape, is widely used as a measurement method of the sliding face pressure between two different faces, however this method has never been applied to the piston ring in the past.