Measurement of film thickness between piston ring and cylinder bore has been a challenge for decades; laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) method was used by several groups, and promising results are obtained for the investigation of lubricant film transport. In this study, blue light generated by a laser source is transmitted to a beam splitter by means of a fiber optic cable and combined with another fiber optic line, then transmitted to the piston ring and cylinder bore conjunction. The light causes the fluorescence dye present in the lubricant to emit light in a longer wavelength, i.e., green. Reflected light is recollected; blue wavelength components are filtered out using a narrow band pass optical filter, and only components in the florescence wavelength is transmitted to a photomultiplier tube. The photomultiplier produces a voltage proportional to instantaneous lubricant film thickness. Then, the photomultiplier signal is calibrated for lubricant film thickness using a laser textured cylinder bore with known geometries. Additional marks were etched on the liner for calibration. The LIF system is adapted to a piston ring and cylinder bore friction test system simulating engine conditions. Static piston ring and reciprocating liner configuration of the bench test system allow the collection of continuous lubricant film thickness data as a function of crank angle position. The developed system has potential to evaluate new designs, materials, and surface properties in a controlled and repeatable environment.

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