Mechanisms of soot transfer to oil of an HPCR diesel engine

Di Liberto, Gianluca (2017) Mechanisms of soot transfer to oil of an HPCR diesel engine. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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High levels of soot-in-oil can cause an increase in engine wear and oil viscosity, thus reducing oil drain intervals. The mechanisms by which soot particles are entrained into the bulk oil are not well understood. The research reported in this thesis addresses questions on the mechanisms of soot transfer to the lubricating oil in light-duty diesel engines with high pressure EGR systems. Deposition as a result of blow-by gas passing the piston ring pack and by absorption to the oil film on the cylinder liner via thermophoresis are soot transfer mechanisms that have been considered in detail. The investigations are based on analytical and simulation studies, and results based on complementary experimental studies are used to validate these.

The experimental investigations aimed at evaluating the typical rate of accumulation and size distribution of soot agglomerates in oil. The oil samples analysed were collected during regular services from light-duty diesel engine vehicles. These were representative of vehicles meeting Euro IV and V emission regulation standards driven under real-world conditions. The rate of soot-in-oil was determined by thermogravimetric analysis and results showed a concentration of approximately 1 wt% of soot-in-oil after 15,000 km. The particle size distribution was determined using a novel technique, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), applied for the first time to soot-laden oil samples by the author [1, 2]. Results showed an average particle size distribution of 150 nm, irrespective of oil drain interval. Almost the totality of the particles were between 70 and 400 nm, with micro particles not detected in any of the samples analysed. For the samples investigated in this work, the Euro standard did not influence either the rate of soot deposition or the particles size distribution. To the author’s best knowledge, this is the first time that rate of soot deposition and particles size distribution from oil samples collected from vehicles of different Euro standard driven under real-world conditions are analysed and compared.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is a common technique used in diesel engines in order to reduce NO¬x emissions. However, it has the drawback that it increases the production of soot. In this work, particular attention has been given to its effects on the rate of soot deposition in oil. Both its influence on the soot produced during the combustion process and on the soot re-introduced in the combustion chamber by the EGR gas has been investigated through CFD simulations using Kiva-3V. Examining the relative importance of near–surface transport of soot by thermophoresis to the oil film on the liner and from blow-by gases to surfaces in the ring pack shows the former to be the dominant mechanism of soot transfer. EGR increases the rate of deposition of soot on the liner not only by increasing net production of soot, but also through the re-cycled particles. At EGR levels higher than 20%, the contribution of the Re-cycled soot becomes the major source for soot-in-oil.

The study of soot deposition was evaluated during the entire engine cycle, including compression stroke and post-Exhaust Valve Opening (EVO) period. Existing deposition models found in the literature typically limit the domain to only from the Start of Injection (SOI) to (EVO) period [3-5]. Results from this thesis indicated that compression stroke and post-EVO period can contribute up to 30% of the total rate of soot deposition into oil.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Shayler, Paul J.
La Rocca, Antonino
Keywords: Diesel engine, soot, soot-in-oil, TEM, NTA, TGA, EGR
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ751 Internal combustion engines. Diesel engines
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 42331
Depositing User: Di Liberto, Gianluca
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 00:58

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