Big end bearing losses with thermal cavitation flow under cylinder deactivation

The paper presents a mixed thermo-hydrodynamic analysis of elliptic bore bearings using combined solution of Navier–Stokes, continuity and energy equations for multi-phase flow conditions. A vapour transport equation is also included to ensure continuity of flow in the cavitation region for the multiple phases as well as Rayleigh–Plesset to take into account the growth and collapse of cavitation bubbles. This approach removes the need to impose artificial outlet boundary conditions in the form of various cavitation algorithms which are often employed to deal with lubricant film rupture and reformation. The predictions show closer conformance to experimental measurements than have hitherto been reported in the literature. The validated model is then used for the prediction of frictional power losses in big end bearings of modern engines under realistic urban driving conditions. In particular, the effect of cylinder deactivation (CDA) upon engine bearing efficiency is studied. It is shown that big-end bearings losses contribute to an increase in the brake specific fuel consumption with application of CDA contrary to the gains made in fuel pumping losses to the cylinders. The study concludes that implications arising from application of new technologies such as CDA should also include their effect on tribological performance.