In-cylinder friction reduction using a surface finish optimization technique

The paper describes the importance of reducing frictional losses in internal combustion (IC) engines, thereby improving engine efficiency. One of the main sources contributing significantly to engine friction is the interaction between the piston compression and oil rings and the cylinder bore/liner. Improving the tribological performance in these conjunctions has the greatest potential for performance improvement in the IC engine. Traditionally, the approaches used to tackle this problem have relied heavily on empirical engineering judgement. These have resulted in many inconclusive studies, involving a large number of alternatives, including the introduction of cylinder liners with surface modification work and/or with special coatings. This paper highlights a fundamental investigation of surface modification and coating and its impact on frictional performance. The study combines numerical and experimental approaches. Very good agreement is found between the conclusions of numerical predictions and those of engine test bed work.