This paper describes a numerical model developed to predict the elastohydrodynamic (coupled solid-fluid) response of unit injector fuel systems. These systems consist of a concentric barrel and plunger with a small annular clearance. During operating (axial movement of the plunger), highly nonuniform pressure and clearance fields are developed which are strongly coupled with each other. The model simultaneously solves for the transient response of the fluid film pressure distribution and three different structural deformation components in a two-dimensional (axial-circumferential) domain. These structural components are the transverse bending of the plunger, radial expansion of the barrel, and radial growth of the plunger from a Poisson effect. The fluid film pressure distribution is governed by the transient Reynolds equation (i.e., lubrication theory) and the structural deformation components governed by linear elastic theory. Full account is taken of these hydrostatic, hydrodynamic, and squeeze-film forces generated in the fluid. The model has been applied to several injector designs. Results have been compared with known performance characteristics and have been found to be qualitatively accurate, in that locations of plunger/barrel contact, and potential for failure, have been accurately predicted.

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