Two-stroke engines are capable of providing very high power density levels in a cost effective, easy-to-maintain package. They are, however, typically susceptible to higher levels of hydrocarbon emissions, lower durability, and a shorter lifecycle when compared to four-stroke engines. These detriments are easily overlooked in some military applications where power density is paramount, but most commercial two-stroke engines require specialized consumable lubricant. Typical military applications strive to minimize their logistics “trails,” which includes minimizing the variety of fluids they require. As a result, there has been very limited success in fielding small two-stroke engines for military use.
As a preliminary study, MIL-PRF-2104K Single Common Powertrain Lubricant (SCPL, a four-stroke heavy diesel engine oil) was utilized as the consumable lubricant (in place of conventional two-stroke oil) in a liquid-cooled, semi-direct fuel injected, spark-ignition, two-stroke engine. Empirical data was collected to study the impact of the oil on deposit build-up, power, wear, combustion stability, and fuel conversion efficiency. Over 147 hours of operation were logged and analyzed.
The performance of the engine on SCPL was consistent with conventional two-stroke oil and showed no degradation over the test duration. Brake specific fuel consumption was not negatively impacted with SCPL. Increased deposit build-up in the exhaust ports and on the spark plugs were the primary negative impacts of the SCPL oil. Spark plugs with hotter classifications and modification of the oiling rate resulted in a reduction of soot accumulation and spark plug fouling.