Schemes for applying active lubrication to main engine bearings

Edgar Alberto Estupinan, Ilmar Santos

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    The work presented here is a theoretical study that describes two different schemes for the oil injection system in actively lubricated main engine bearings. The use of active lubrication in journal bearings helps to enhance the hydrodynamic fluid film by increasing the fluid film thickness and consequently reducing viscous friction losses and vibrations. One refers to active lubrication when conventional hydrodynamic lubrication is combined with dynamically modified hydrostatic lubrication. In this case, the hydrostatic lubrication is modified by injecting oil at controllable pressures, through orifices circumferentially located around the bearing surface. The pressure distribution of the hydrodynamic fluid film in journal bearings is governed by the Reynolds equation, which is modified to accommodate the dynamics of active lubrication, and which can be numerically solved using finite-difference method. The computed bearing fluid film forces are coupled to the set of nonlinear equations that describes the dynamics of the reciprocating engine, obtained with the help of multibody dynamics (rigid components) and finite elements method (flexible components). The main equations that govern the dynamics of the injection for a piezo-actuated oil injector and a mechanical-actuated oil injector are presented in this study. It is shown how the dynamics of the oil injection system is coupled to the dynamics of the bearing fluid film through equations. The global system is numerically solved using as a case of study a single-cylinder combustion engine, where the conventional lubrication of the main bearing is modified by applying radial oil injection using piezo-actuated injection. The performance of such a hybrid bearing is compared to an equivalent conventional lubricated bearing in terms of the maximum fluid film pressures, minimum fluid film thicknesses and reduction of viscous friction losses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th Pan-American Congress of Applied Mechanics
    Publication date2009
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event11th Pan-American Congress of Applied Mechanics - Foz do Iguazu, Brazil
    Duration: 4 Jan 20108 Jan 2010
    Conference number: 11


    Conference11th Pan-American Congress of Applied Mechanics
    CityFoz do Iguazu
    Internet address


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