A new approach is developed to determine piston-ring assembly lubrication regimes from the instantaneous frictional torque measured for the whole engine. This is based on the variation of the friction coefficient with the duty parameter in the Stribeck diagram over the mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. The derived equation determines the lubrication regimes from the slope of the line in the Stribeck diagram. A single cylinder spark ignition engine was instrumented to determine the total instantaneous frictional torque of the engine. Experiments were conducted under different loads at a constant speed. Results show that the regime is mixed lubrication near the top dead center (TDC) and shifts to the hydrodynamic lubrication regime as the piston moves away from TDC. The extent of the mixed lubrication regime depends on engine load and speed.

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