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Numerical Assessment of Tribological Performance of Different Low Viscosity Engine Oils in a 4-Stroke CI Light-Duty ICE
ISSN: 2641-9637, e-ISSN: 2641-9645
Published March 29, 2022 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Tormos, B., Jiménez, A., Fang, T., Mainwaring, R. et al., "Numerical Assessment of Tribological Performance of Different Low Viscosity Engine Oils in a 4-Stroke CI Light-Duty ICE," SAE Int. J. Adv. & Curr. Prac. in Mobility 4(5):1524-1536, 2022, https://doi.org/10.4271/2022-01-0321.
Decreasing fuel consumption in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) is a key target for engine developers in order to achieve the CO2 emissions limits during a standard cycle. In this context, reduction of engine friction could help meet those targets. The use of Low Viscosity Engine Oils (LVEOs), which is currently one of the avenues to achieve such reductions, was studied in this manuscript through a validated numerical simulation model that predicts the friction of the engine’s piston-cylinder unit, journal bearings and camshaft. These frictional power losses were obtained for four different lubricant formulations which differ in their viscosity grades and design. Results showed a maximum friction variation of up to 6% depending on the engine operating condition, where the major reductions came from hydrodynamic-dominated components such as journal bearings, despite an increase in friction in boundary-dominated components such as the piston-ring assembly. Also, an evaluation of the potential fuel reduction that can be obtained by low viscosity oils during a WLTC approval cycle was performed. Overall, a fuel saving of 1% was obtained. In general terms, the majority of the engine map showed potential for mechanical loss reduction through LVEOs, that is, a better engine efficiency and consequently a decrease in the fuel consumption and CO2 emitted to the atmosphere. The present work also exemplifies the trade-offs encountered when reducing the engine friction through LVEOs and highlights the need to co-engineer the hardware and lubricant in order to utilize the full friction reduction potential of LVEOs.