Spherical bearings have been used successfully in engines for some years. The spherical bearing geometry allows a simplified axisymmetric piston design; gradual rotation of the piston and rings results in axisymmetric sidewall wear, temperature distribution and thermal expansion. A previously-described concept engine design incorporating a spherical joint piston was based on an existing production engine with a conventional cylindrical piston pin. Previously-developed finite element lubrication analysis methods are applied to both designs and predictive comparisons made.

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