Modeling piston skirt lubrication in internal combustion engines
Author(s)Bai, Dongfang, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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Ever-increasing demand for reduction of the undesirable emissions from the internal combustion engines propels broader effort in auto industry to design more fuel efficient engines. One of the major focuses is the reduction of engine mechanical losses, to which the friction of the piston skirt is one important contributor. Yet there lacks a sufficient understanding of the skirt lubrication behavior to effectively optimize the piston skirt system in practice. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a comprehensive model to advance the predictability of the skirt friction while integrating all the dynamic behavior of the piston secondary motion and the structural deformation of the piston skirt and cylinder liner. Major contributions of this work are analysis of and development of a model for the oil transport and exchange of the piston skirt region and its surroundings. The new oil transport model is composed with two elements. First, the oil scraped into the chamfer region by the oil control ring during a down-stroke is tracked and its accumulation and release to the skirt region are modeled. Second, oil separation and re-attachment are allowed in the skirt region, breaking conventional full-attachment assumption in lubrication studies. The new oil transport model together with hydrodynamic and boundary lubrication model were coupled with piston secondary motion and structural deformation of the piston skirt and cylinder liner. For numerical efficiency and physics clarity, we used different discretization for the lubrication from the structural deformation. The final model is robust and efficient. The discussion of the model results is focused mainly on the oil transport. There exist a general pattern in available oil for skirt lubrication, namely, skirt tends to be starved when it travels at the upper portion of a stroke. Comparison with visualization experiment for oil accumulation patterns show consistency between model prediction and observation. This work represents a major step forward to realistically predicting skirt friction and the influence of all the relevant design and operational parameters. However, oil supply to the region below the piston skirt can largely influence the outcome of the friction prediction and its mechanism is system dependent. Additionally, simple treatment of the oil transport in the current model is merely a first step to modeling the complex fluid problems involved. Improvements of this model based on application and further analysis will make it a more powerful engineering tool to optimize the skirt system to minimize its undesirable outputs.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-147).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology