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Engine Operating Conditions, Fuel Property Effects, and Associated Fuel–Wall Interaction Dependencies of Stochastic Preignition

by Derek A Splitter, Vicente Boronat Colomer, Sneha Neupane, William P Partridge Jr
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SAE Technical Paper Series
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This work for the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) explores dependencies on the opportunity for fuel to impinge on internal engine surfaces (i.e., fuel–wall impingement) as a function of fuel properties and engine operating conditions and correlates these data with measurements of stochastic preignition (SPI) propensity. SPI rates are directly coupled with laser–induced florescence measurements of dye-doped fuel dilution measurements of the engine lubricant, which provides a surrogate for fuel–wall impingement. Literature suggests that SPI may have several dependencies, one being fuel–wall impingement. However, it remains unknown if fuel-wall impingement is a fundamental predictor and source of SPI or is simply a causational factor of SPI. In this study, these relationships on SPI and fuel-wall impingement are explored using 4 fuels at 8 operating conditions per fuel, for 32 total test points. The fuels were directly injected at two different injection timings: an earlier injection timing that initially targets the piston crown and a later injection timing that targets the cylinder liner. At each injection timing, the engine was operated at both 90°C and 70°C coolant and lubricant temperatures, and 185 and 200 kPa absolute intake manifold pressure. This work serves as an exploratory effort to down select conditions and provide initial fuel properties of interest for a secondary study to explore fuel property specific effects on fuel-wall interaction and SPI propensity.
Significant findings from this initial operating condition and fuel property exploratory work are: 1. reduced engine operating coolant and lubricant temperatures, along with 2. retarded injection timings were required to increase SPI propensity. Moreover, at these conditions some fuel specific effects were also observed; specifically, increased ethanol content increased measured dye–wall (i.e., fuel–wall) interaction. However, despite increased dye–wall interaction, the increased volatility of the ethanol containing fuels also reduced the estimated fuel retention in the top-ring zone and associated measured SPI propensity. Thus, the findings of this unique approach to explore relationships between fuel-wall impingement and SPI highlight that SPI propensity is more directly proportional to retained fuel, and not simply fuel–wall impingement. Fuel retention was found to be directly influenced by complex fuel property and engine operating condition relationships. Either retarded injection timings and/or increased fuel volatility increased fuel wall-impingement, while less volatile fuels and/or reduced coolant temperatures increased fuel retention. Therefore, for a given operating condition, the data highlights that greater volatile fuels exhibit increased fuel wall impingement without increased fuel retention or SPI propensity, while less volatile fuels could exhibit reduced fuel-wall impingement but increased fuel retention and SPI propensity rates.