Valvetrain Friction and Wear Performance with Fresh and Used Low Phosphorous Engine Oils

Gangopadhyay, Arup .; Carter III, R. O.; Simko, Steve; Hong Gao; Bjornen, K. K.; Black, E. D.
November 2007
Tribology & Lubrication Technology;Nov2007, Vol. 63 Issue 11, p62
Academic Journal
Continued legislative pressure to reduce automotive exhaust emissions require automotive catalyst to operate at its peak efficiency up to 120,000 miles. Catalyst life is shortened by poisoning of active sites by glazing caused by deposition of phosphorous. The primary source of phosphorous is zinc dialkyldithiophosphate, an antiwear and antioxidant additive in engine oil. Therefore, the reduction of the phosphorous level in engine oils raises concern for increased wear of engine components. In an engine equipped with a direct acting mechanical bucket-type valvetrain, high contact stress coupled with sliding action at the cam and tappet contact makes it particularly vulnerable to wear. Motored single cam lobe valvetrain experiments were conducted to evaluate wear protection capability of several 0.05 wt% P containing engine oils while the oil is fresh. The wear protection capability of vehicle drain samples were also evaluated to ensure adequate protection up to the point of oil change. It was observed that used oils provided significantly improved wear protection capability coupled with reduced friction. An analysis of the tappet shim surface showed that the composition of lubricant-derived protective films formed with used oils is very different than that formed with fresh oil, which may very well explain improved wear characteristics and reduced friction with used oils.


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