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Technical Paper

Design Details of the Compression Ignition Rotating Liner Engine. Reducing Piston Assembly Friction and Ring/Liner Wear in Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines

The Rotating Liner Engine (RLE) is an engine design concept where the cylinder liner rotates in order to reduce piston assembly friction and liner/ring wear. The reduction is achieved by the elimination of the mixed and boundary lubrication regimes that occur near TDC. Prior engines for aircraft developed during WW2 with partly rotating liners (Sleeve Valve Engines or SVE) have exhibited reduction of bore wear by factor of 10 for high BMEP operation, which supports the elimination of mixed lubrication near the TDC area via liner rotation. Our prior research on rotating liner engines experimentally proved that the boundary/mixed components near TDC are indeed eliminated, and a high friction reduction was quantified compared to a baseline engine. The added friction required to rotate the liner is hydrodynamic via a modest sliding speed, and is thus much smaller than the mixed and boundary friction that is eliminated.
Technical Paper

The Rotating Liner Engine (RLE) Diesel Prototype: Preliminary Testing

The Rotating Liner Engine (RLE) concept is a design concept for internal combustion engines, where the cylinder liner rotates at a surface speed of 2-4 m/s in order to assist piston ring lubrication. Specifically, we have evidence from prior art and from our own research that the above rotation has the potential of eliminating the metal-to-metal contact/boundary friction that exists close to the piston reversal areas. This frictional source becomes a significant energy loss, especially in the compression/expansion part of the cycle, when the gas pressure that loads the piston rings and skirts is high. This paper describes the Diesel RLE prototype constructed from a Cummins 4BT and the preliminary observations from initial low load testing. The critical technical challenge, namely the rotating liner face seal, appears to be operating with negligible gas leakage and within the hydrodynamic lubrication regime for the loads tested (peak cylinder pressures of the order of 80 bar).