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Technical Paper

Friction Reduction in Lubricated Components Through Engine Oil Formulation

Improvement of engine fuel efficiency through the use of low friction engine oils is a major task in engine lubrication research. This friction reduction can be achieved by improving the rheological characteristics and elastohydrodynamic (EHD) properties of engine oils, and by controlling boundary chemical interactions between oil-based additives and lubricated components in the engine. In order to achieve minimal frictional power loss under all lubrication regimes, engine tribological systems must be designed to effectively use advanced lubricant technology, material and surface modifications. This paper presents results of cooperative research addressing opportunities for minimizing friction through extension of hydrodynamic lubrication regime in lubricated components using various formulation approaches. A set of experimental oils has been evaluated using laboratory test rigs that simulate hydrodynamic, EHD, mixed and boundary lubrication.
Technical Paper

Fuel Economy Improvement Through Frictional Loss Reduction in Light Duty Truck Rear Axle

In an effort to improve fuel economy for light duty trucks, an initiative was undertaken to reduce frictional losses in rear axle through use of low friction lubricants and novel surface finish on gears while maintaining durability. This paper describes the effect of rear axle lubricants on fuel economy. A laboratory rig was set up using a full size pick-up truck rear axle to measure axle efficiency and lubricant temperature with various SAE 75W-90 and SAE 75W-140 viscosity grade lubricants. Traction coefficients of lubricants were also measured at various temperatures using a laboratory ball and disk contact geometry. An improvement in axle efficiency up to 4.3% was observed over current Ford factory fill SAE 75W-140 lubricant depending on speed, torque and the type of lubricant used. The temperature of the lubricants was also lower than that with the current factory fill. This is important for maintaining bearing life and overall durability of the rear axle.
Technical Paper

Ranking of Lubricants for Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) by a Short Engine Sequence Test

A short engine sequence test, based on the Sequence VD procedure, was used to screen FFV oil candidates more rapidly. Since only one engine is needed to compare the wear-protection performance of several lubricants, engine hardware variability is not a significant issue in this test procedure. Several lubricants, some specially formulated for FFV engines, were tested using standard Sequence VD engine hardware which includes molybdenum top piston-rings. Results showed clear discrimination of the performance of oil candidates. These lubricants were also tested using an engine with chromium-faced top rings and exhibited similar performance ranking.
Technical Paper

Rheological Characterization of Lubricant-Methanol-Water Emulsions

Rheological measurements were performed on a series of lubricants for flexible fuel vehicles, and blends of water or methanol in these oils. A series of measurements, including kinematic viscosity, viscosity at low and high shear rates, low shear viscosity under borderline pumping conditions, and density were performed on all oils and blends. The effects of mixing conditions, such as mixing speed and temperature on these properties were also studied. Viscosity increases when water emulsifies in oils. Methanol exhibits limited solubility in all oils, but more so in synthetic base oils. Viscosity tests at 248 K (-25°C) do not indicate the onset of critical pumping conditions, even at high concentrations of water or methanol. Tests at high shear rates at 323 K (50°C) suggest that water-oil emulsions are quite stable, while methanol-oil blends lose their methanol content either due to evaporation or shear-induced separation.
Technical Paper

Viscosity Prediction for Multigrade Oils

The variation of viscosity with temperature and shear rate plays an important role in the analysis of lubrication of automotive systems. In this paper, a method for predicting the viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids, such as multigrade engine oils, over a wide range of temperatures and shear rates is outlined. This expression determines viscosity parameters for shear thinning fluids in terms of easily measured viscosity values at some reference state. A comparison of predictions with experimental data suggests that viscosity for multigrade engine oils can be predicted to within experimental uncertainty. The proposed method can be used in assessing lubricant viscosity at shear rates greater than 106 s-1, which are beyond the capability of current laboratory instruments. A comparative study with multigrade oils shows that performance at very high shear rates cannot be accurately gauged from high temperature, high shear (HTHS) viscosity measurements.
Technical Paper

Wear Protection Properties of Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) Lubricants

A laboratory wear test is used to evaluate the wear protection properties of new and used engine oils formulated for FFV service. Laboratory-blended mixtures of these oils with methanol and water have also been tested. The test consists of a steel ball rotating against three polished cast iron discs. Oil samples are obtained at periodic intervals from a fleet of 3.0L Taurus vehicles operating under controlled go-stop conditions. To account for the effects of fuel dilution, some oils are tested before and after a stripping procedure to eliminate gasoline, methanol and other volatile components. In addition to TAN and TBN measurements, a capillary electrophoresis technique is used to evaluate the formate content in the oils. The results suggest that wear properties of used FFV lubricants change significantly with their degree of usage.