Fuels

PCS' instruments are at the forefront of fuels testing. With the range of equipment PCS offers, users can run internationally recognised standard tests (including ASTM, ISO and more) on both diesel fuels and jet fuels.

PCS Instruments offers a range of equipment for fuel testing requirements. At the forefront of this range are the HFRR and the ABS, both of which can perform internationally recognised standard tests.

The High Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR) is a reciprocating friction and wear test system which provides a fast, repeatable assessment of the performance of fuels and lubricants. It is particularly suitable for wear testing relatively poor lubricants such as diesel fuels and for boundary friction measurements of engine oils, greases and other compounds. It has become the industry standard test for diesel fuel lubricity and conforms to ASTM D6079, ASTM D7688, CEC F-06-A, ISO 12156, EN 590, JPI-5S-50, and IP 450.

The Automated BOCLE System (ABS) is a Ball-on-Cylinder wear test system which provides a fast, repeatable assessment of the performance of jet fuels that fully conforms to the ASTM D5001 test method for “Measurement of Lubricity of Aviation Turbine Fuels by the Ball-on-Cylinder Lubricity Evaluator”.

Fuels industry facts:

  • Crude oil and natural gas liquid production exceeded 4500 million tonnes in 2019
  • The United States has increased the amount of crude oil and natural gas liquids it exports by 1200% over the last 10 years
  • An average driver in the UK will spend over £56,000 on petrol in their lifetime
  • Middle distillates and motor gasoline remain the most in demand oil product groups

Fuels Industry includes the following:

Automotive
Automotive

In automotives, fuels not only are used to generate power through combustion but also need to help protect and maintain the engine parts. Intense tribological research in this area is constantly ongoing.

Aviation
Aviation

With commercial airliners using thousands of kilograms of fuel per hour, optimising its performance in terms of protecting engine parts and efficiency is an area of interest and significant work for tribologists.

Biofuels
Biofuels

Biofuels are an expanding sector in the fuels industry. It is an area of intense tribological study with the goal of creating more environmentally friendly fuels that operate just as effectively as current fuels.

Marine
Marine

Boats and ships operate in wet, often salty, conditions. Tribologists are working hard to develop more environmentally friendly and better performing fuels that can protect engine parts in these unique conditions.

Instruments for the Fuels Industry

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Fuels Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

The Influence of Slide–Roll Ratio on the Extent of Micropitting Damage in Rolling–Sliding Contacts Pertinent to Gear Applications

Micropitting is a type of surface damage that occurs in rolling–sliding contacts operating under thin oil film, mixed lubrication conditions, …

Micropitting is a type of surface damage that occurs in rolling–sliding contacts operating under thin oil film, mixed lubrication conditions, such as those formed between meshing gear teeth. Like the more widely studied pitting damage, micropitting is caused by the general mechanism of rolling contact fatigue but, in contrast to pitting, it manifests itself through the formation of micropits on the local, roughness asperity level. Despite the fact that micropitting is increasingly becoming a major mode of gear failure, the relevant mechanisms are poorly understood and there are currently no established design criteria to assess the risk of micropitting occurrence in gears or other applications. This paper provides new understanding of the tribological mechanisms that drive the occurrence of micropitting damage and serves to inform the ongoing discussions on suitable design criteria in relation to the influence of contact slide–roll ratio (SRR) on micropitting. A triple-disc rolling contact fatigue rig is used to experimentally study the influence of the magnitude and direction of SRR on the progression of micropitting damage in samples made of case-carburised gear steel. The test conditions are closely controlled to isolate the influence of the variable of interest. In particular, any variation in bulk heating at different SRRs is eliminated so that tests are conducted at the same film thickness for all SRRs. The results show that increasing the magnitude of SRR increases the level of micropitting damage and that negative SRRs (i.e. the component where damage is being accumulated is slower) produce more micropitting than the equivalent positive SRRs. Measurements of elastohydrodynamic film thickness show that in the absence of bulk heating, increasing SRR does not cause a reduction in EHL film thickness and therefore this cannot be the reason for the increased micropitting at higher SRRs. Instead, we show that the main mechanism by which increase in SRR promotes micropitting is by increasing the number of micro-contact stress cycles experienced by roughness asperities during their passage through the rolling–sliding contact. Therefore, the asperity stress history should form the basis of any potential design criterion against micropitting.

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Paper

The Effect of Lubricant Composition on White Etching Crack Failures

White etching cracks (WECs) are the dominant mode of failure for wind turbine gearbox bearings. These failures are characterized by …

White etching cracks (WECs) are the dominant mode of failure for wind turbine gearbox bearings. These failures are characterized by subsurface initiation and local region of microstructural alterations adjacent to the crack faces. The definitive cause of WECs within the field is unknown, because of this laboratory replication has proved difficult. At a benchtop scale, specific lubricant formulations referred to as “bad reference oils” (BROs) are often employed to aid in the formation of WECs; however, exactly how these lubricants induce WECs is unknown. The present work intends to elucidate how these lubricants facilitate the formation of WECs by systematically varying the additives which are found in BROs and studying the effect that these additive combinations have on time until failure, as well as tribofilm development. It was found that the lubricant containing Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate alone led to the formation of WECs sooner than any lubricant studied. It was also documented that a lubricants frictional characteristics play a more dominant role than the tribofilm characteristics.

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