Loughborough University
Thesis-2012-Johnson-Ben.pdf (11.73 MB)

Experimental analysis of crankcase oil aerosol generation and control

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posted on 2012-11-22, 10:04 authored by Ben T. Johnson
Crankcase ventilation contributes significantly to diesel engine particulate emissions. Future regulations will not only limit the mass of particulate matter, but also the number of particles. Controlling the source of crankcase emissions is critical to meeting the perennial legislation. Deficiency in the understanding of crankcase emissions generation and the contribution of lubricating oil has been addressed in detail by the experimental study presented in this thesis. A plethora of high speed laser optical diagnostics techniques have been employed to deduce the main mechanisms of crankcase oil aerosol generation. Novel images have captured oil atomisation and passive oil distribution around the crankcase of an optically accessed, motored, four cylinder, off highway, heavy duty, diesel engine. Rayleigh type ligament breakup of oil films present on the surface of dynamic components, most notably the crankshaft, camshaft and valve rockers generated oil drops below 10 micrometers. Data illustrated not only crankcase oil aerosol generation at source, but it has provided valuable information on methods to control oil aerosol generation and improve oil circuit efficiency. The feasibility of utilising computational fluid dynamics to predict crankcase oil aerosol generation has been successfully assessed using the experimental data. Particle sampling has characterised the crankcase emissions from both a fired and motored diesel engine crankcase. The evolution of submicron crankcase particles down to 5 nm has been recorded from both engines, including the isolated contribution of engine oil, at a wide range of engine test points. Results have provided constructive insight into the generation and control of this complex emission. The main mechanism of crankcase oil aerosol generation was found to be crankshaft oil atomisation. This atomisation process has been analysed in detail, involving high speed imaging of primary and satellite drop generation and high speed digital particle image velocity of the crankshaft air flow. A promising mechanism of regulating and controlling crankcase oil aerosol emissions at source has been studied experimentally.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© B.T. Johnson

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en