Tribology of Fuels

Fuels pose a special case as lubricants. Due to their low viscosity, they are poor film formers. Thus, wear protection and friction modulation is strongly dependent on the surface-active components and other additives in the fuels. For the current study, an MCR Tribometer from Anton-Paar was used.

Introduction

Fuels pose a special case as lubricants. Due to their low viscosity, they are poor film formers. Thus, wear protection and friction modulation is strongly dependent on the surface-active components and other additives in the fuels.

The wear-protection and friction-modulating properties of fuels can be evaluated by using a high-frequency reciprocating rig test (HFRR; DIN EN ISO 12156-1). A fuel is said to have good lubricity if the diameter of the wear-tracks area is smaller than a critical value; for diesel, the critical HFRR value is 460 μm (DIN EN 590).

An integral measured quantity is analyzed in the HFRR test, which can include static, mixed and possibly hydrodynamic friction. It can be difficult to distinguish between different causes for a specific wear behavior in such a test, although this could be valuable information, especially when optimizing components for applications where fuel is the only lubricant.

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