Transient elastohydrodynamic analysis of piston skirt lubricated contact under combined axial, lateral and tilting motion
Most modern engines utilise pistons with an offset gudgeon pin. In internal combustion engines, the offset is to the major thrust side of the piston. The piston thrust side is the part of the piston perpendicular to the gudgeon pin that carries the majority of side loading during the power stroke. Primary reason for having the gudgeon pin positioned eccentrically is to prevent the piston from slamming into the cylinder bore after the connecting rod journal passes the top dead centre. This phenomenon is referred to as piston slap, and is more pronounced in compression ignition and high performance engines due to higher combustion pressure than that of commercial spark ignition engines. The coming together of the piston and the bore results in scuffing, at best, or, catastrophic failure at worst. Clearance space between bore and piston is filled by a lubricant film. The main role of the lubricant is to separate the piston and bore by reacting to the applied load. Investigating the above problem requires a holistic approach, whereby a dynamic three degree-of-freedom piston model is coupled with a lubrication model to represent the actual system. The dynamic model determines the motion of the piston in combined axial, lateral and rotation about the gudgeon pin. The reactive forces due to lubricant films on the major and minor thrust sides of the piston play significant roles in piston dynamics and are evaluated by either quasi-static or transient solution of the lubricant contact conjunctions. The novel quasi-static analysis is carried out in the sense of its detailed approach, including many key practical features. not incorporated in other analyses, hitherto reported in literature. These features include first and foremost the development of a specific contact mechanics model for evaluation of conforming contacts for piston skirt against liner or bore. The quasi-static analysis includes many practical feature not encountered in other literature on the subject, such as detailed surface irregularities and modification features, and with thermal distortion. The analysis has been extended to thermohydrodynamics, as well as micro-hydrodynamics, all with high computational mesh densities, and robust methods of solution in space and time domains, including effective influence Newton-Raphson method and linear acceleration integration scheme. The transient tribo-elasto-multi-body dynamics problem includes physics of motion study from film thickness prediction and secondary motion evaluation of the order of micrometers and minutes of arc to large rigid body dynamics, including simultaneous solution of the contact problem at both major and minor thrust sides. Such a comprehensive solution has not hitherto been reported in literature. The thesis discusses many aspects of piston dynamics problem, through the broad spectrum of vehicle manufacture, with many pertinent practical engineering issues. In particular, it provides solutions for high performance Formula 1 racing engines. This is the first ever comprehensive analysis of piston tribodynamics for this range of engines at very high combustion pressures. This study has shown the paramount influence of profile of piston in promoting lubrication between the contiguous bodies, as evident from the pattern of lubricant flow through the contact. Deformation of the bodies increases the volume of lubricant in the contact. During the reversal in direction of piston motion, when the entraining velocity momentarily cases and reversal takes place, the load is held by an elastic squeeze.