Approaching a characterization of different contributors to the lube oil balance of an engine becomes important when aiming at enhancing lubrication performance and reducing its contribution to exhaust gas emissions. It is essential to quantify relevant data helping to determine lubrication losses related to particular tribosystem components. Recent activities focused on rating distinct tribosystem component effects on their contribution to total lube oil consumption and the possibility to most effectively modify those.

This paper thus describes the most effective tribosystem component modifications, consisting of the application of a substantially modified piston ring pack and the introduction of lube oil accumulating grooves in order to considerably enhance lubrication performance.

A proper prediction of piston ring pack dynamics and tribodynamic effects on the lube oil film is essential to design a superior piston ring pack in terms of an optimized piston running behaviour and lube oil transportation. One major step designing such a ring pack is based on the consequent application of a novel 3D piston ring pack simulation tool to enhance lube oil transportation characteristics and distribution.

Lube oil accumulating grooves are introduced to reduce lubrication losses due to so called ring pack spray. The ring pack spray is a result of accumulated lubricant in the pressurized piston ring pack expanding into the scavenge air receiver during the scavenging phase. Mentioned effect was analysed in detail in order to determine the amount of related lubricant losses. Investigations in this context lead to the application of lube oil accumulating grooves and hence can be considered an important design aspect to reduce total lube oil consumption.

Tribosystem performance validation was performed on the basis of the application of an SO2 tracing technology on a full scale engine test in order to determine relevant tribosystem component modifications in real time. The sulphur content of fuel and lube oil considerably influences the formation of particulate matter in the exhaust gas, following chemical reactions of sulphur oxidation. Hence detecting SO2 in the exhaust gas is a direct measure to determine the amount of lubricant in the exhaust gas composition.

Finally this report demonstrates measurement results describing the superior performance of the modified tribosystem.

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