The ring-pack lubrication is a complicated physical process involving multiple physical phenomena. This paper presents an attempt to model the ring-pack lubrication in three-dimensional space, considering the ring-bore structure interaction, bore distortion, ring-twist, piston secondary motion, non-Newtonian lubricant behavior, and ring/bore asperity contacts.

The physics of the model includes the interface between the structure of the ring, oil lubricant, and the structure of the cylinder liner. The ring is modeled as a three-dimensional FEA model with the nodes along the ring circumference. The ring face orientation changes circumferentially depending on ring geometry as well as piston tilt angle and three-dimensional ring twist angle at every crank angle degree. The oil lubrication is modeled with the Reynolds equation with shear thinning and temperature dependent oil viscosity and with or without the flow factors. The cylinder liner description allows three-dimensional bore distortion and ring/liner asperity contact to be modelled. The key of the analysis is solving simultaneously at every crank angle increment a set of coupled linear and non-linear equations of ring structure, ring face lubrication, bore distortion, and asperity contact. The model predicts variations of the ring-pack lubrication in the axial and circumferential directions.

Using the hydrodynamic lubrication model coupled with the asperity contact model allows calculations of the friction forces due to asperity contact (boundary and mixed lubrication) and oil film interactions (hydrodynamic and mixed lubrication). The transition from hydrodynamic lubrication to boundary lubrication through mixed lubrication is determined interactively based on ring / liner surface properties, ring loads, and lubrication properties. The new friction sub-module calculates axial and circumferential variation of both types of friction forces as well as total friction. The asperity contact induced friction forces and asperity contact pressure can further be used for ring wear calculations.

The developed model has been applied to determine the performance of a production engine ring-pack. The influence of different phenomena affecting the ring-pack performance has been analyzed and compared.

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