The transient elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) process of cam-tappet pair in I. C. engine is analyzed with a full numerical method. The variations of pressure distribution and film profile as a function of rotation angle of cam shaft provide useful information in evaluating lubrication conditions as well as analyzing failures of contacting surfaces. Results show that the segment in cam contour from φ = 30 to φ = 110 deg is a difficult lubrication range, and surface failure may occur first in this range. This statement was confirmed by preliminary exprimental work conducted in a testing rig.

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