The Effect of Pressure, Temperature and Additives on Droplet Ignition of Lubricant Oil and Its Surrogate

Numerous studies have attributed pre-ignition events in turbocharged spark ignited engines to the auto-ignition of lubricant oil-fuel mixture droplets. These droplets result from the interaction of the directly injected fuel spray on the lubricant oil film on the cylinder walls, causing fuel splashing to pull oil off the walls, forming droplets. The dilution of the oil by the fuel also changes lubricant oil droplet properties. Therefore, it is important to understand lubricating oils, with and without fuel dilution, as a possible ignition source in pre-ignition and super knock events. In this work, a constant volume (4 L) combustion chamber (CVCC) that allows the introduction of a single droplet of lubricating oil has been built. It is capable of operation at elevated pressures and temperatures. To simulate the droplet-induced pre-ignition event, a droplet injection system was incorporated into the vessel. The oil droplet was suspended on the junction of a thermocouple where the instantaneous internal droplet temperature was measured throughout the oil droplet lifetime. The experiments were carried out in an air atmosphere heated to 300 °C. The ambient pressure was varied from 2-15 bar. In the present work, the effect of pressure on droplet ignition of conventional engine oil (SAE 15 W-40), its surrogate hexadecane (CH), and hexadecane mixed with lubricant oil additives has been investigated to understand the fundamental physics of droplet-induced ignition. The objective of this study is to determine the probability that an oil droplet will ignite at temperatures and pressures relevant to modern turbocharged GDI engines.

Maharjan S, Qahtani Y, Roberts W, Elbaz A (2018) The Effect of Pressure, Temperature and Additives on Droplet Ignition of Lubricant Oil and Its Surrogate. SAE Technical Paper Series. Available:

This project is supported by Saudi Aramco under the FUELCOM II project and the Clean Combustion Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

SAE International

SAE Technical Paper Series

Conference/Event Name
SAE 2018 International Powertrains, Fuels and Lubricants Meeting, FFL 2018


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