Tribology of compression ring-to-cylinder contact at reversal

Piston ring-pack-to-cylinder contact accounts for one of the major sources of frictional losses in internal combustion engines. The regime of lubrication alters during the piston cycle because of the transient nature of applied load and kinematic contact conditions. Ring geometry, surface topography, and lubricant rheology also play an important role. The aim is to attain full fluid film lubrication, thus reducing friction because of boundary interactions. Therefore, accurate prediction of lubricant film thickness and pressure distribution constitutes the first step in a proper analysis of piston ring–cylinder conjunction. The creation of a gap through elastic deformation is sought in order to inhibit asperity tip interactions. The generated contact pressures in the lubricant film are due to combined entraining motion and squeeze film effect. The integrated pressure distribution balances the elastic force due to ring tension and the applied combustion pressure acting behind the ring. The article highlights a detailed analysis, which forms the basis for its future expansion to include the study of mixed regime of lubrication, which may be prevalent in some real engines