Transient tribo-dynamics of thermo-elastic compliant high-performance piston skirts
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2013, 15:17 by Stephanos Theodossiades, Miguel De-La-Cruz, Bryn Littlefair, R. Mills, S.J. Howell-Smith, Homer Rahnejat, R.S. Dwyer-Joyce
Advanced piston technology for motorsport applications is driven through development of lightweight pistons with preferentially compliant short partial skirts. The preferential compliance is achieved through structural stiffening, such that a greater entrainment wedge is achieved at the skirt’s bottom edge through thermo-elastic deformation, whilst better conforming contact geometry at the top of the skirt. In practice, the combination of some of these conditions is intended to improve the load-carrying capacity and reduce friction. The approach is fundamental to the underlying ethos of race and high-performance engine technology. Contact loads of the order of 5 kN and contact kinematics in the range 0–35 m/s result in harsh transient tribological conditions. Therefore, piston design requires detailed transient analysis, which integrates piston dynamics, thermo-elastic distortion and transient elastohydrodynamics. The paper provides such a detailed analysis as well as verification of the same using non-invasive ultrasonic-assisted lubricant film thickness measurement from a fired engine under normal operating conditions, an approach not hitherto reported in literature. Good agreement is noted between measured film thickness and predictions.
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) [grant number EP/G012334/1].
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering