The role of cylinder bore shapes in engine performance has been the subject of several studies in recent years. In particular, the influence of bore distortion on oil consumption under high speed conditions has generated significant interest. In this paper, the effect of an axial bore profile on radial dynamics of a ring is investigated. Radial ring motions within grooves due to the axial bore profile can generate significant inertial effects and also have an impact on ring end-gap sizes and lubrication conditions at the ring-liner interfaces. The magnitude of such effects is dependent on the ring-pack configuration, engine operating conditions (speed and load) and axial bore profile details. These issues are investigated in this study due to their implication on engine oil consumption, friction and blow-by. The authors have developed an analytical expression to account for the effects of radial ring inertia due to an axial bore profile for implementation in a piston ring–pack simulation tool RINGPAK. Simulation results from a gasoline engine study are presented to illustrate the effects of engine speeds, ring tensions and characteristics of axial bore profiles on ring radial dynamics and ring-liner lubrication. Relevant qualitative comparisons are made to experimental measurements available in the literature.

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