In diesel engines, transient heat transfer in the piston/rings/liner system greatly affects the performance of the engine, such as in carbon deposit buildup, microwelding, lubricant degradation, and changing mechanical properties of the materials. The current work aims at studying the local piston/rings/liner transient heat-transfer process by incorporating real time dynamics of the rings in sufficient detail. In the present study, several techniques have been adopted to simulate the transient heat transfer process, with fully-incorporated ring dynamics. These techniques include using the model/submodel approach, local refined mesh approach, and the virtual thermal conductivity approach. The transient temperature and heat flux profiles in the piston and rings are illustrated. The results show that the relative movement of the rings greatly affects the temperature/heat flux distribution and the peak temperature in the top ring. The friction heating between the top ring and the liner is also evaluated. The analysis demonstrates that under some extreme conditions when frictional heating reaches its peak value, some heat flux directs back to enter the ring.

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