A lubricant will reduce friction and wear, it will keep metal surfaces clean by
carrying away possible deposits and providing a seal to keep out dirt. A
lubricating oil will carry away the heat generated in bearings and gears, etc.,
preventing overheating, seizure and possible breakdown.
When piston reaches TDC, the boundary lubrication fails to protect the surfaces.
Spot heat builds up and metal to metal adhesion occurs. This results in metal
tear and hard particles scratching the well machined surface, leading to a
condition calledsc uf fi n g.
Engines with water cooled pistons may be lubricated with a straight mineral oil inhibited with anti-rust and anti-oxidant additives (R & O).
high resistance to thermal and oxidation degradation is required. This is because of the higher temperatures, the associated oxidation problems and the tendency for carbonaceous material to build up on the underside of the piston crown.
Most modern cross-head engines have oil cooled pistons. As a consequence, most oil companies supply only a premium type crankcase oil, normally with a TBN around 5, which can be used for both engine types.
The alkalinity is indicated by the TBN (Total Base Number ) rating of the lubricant. The TBN value most suitable for the cylinder lubricating oil depends largely on the sulphur content of the fuel used. Typical values for sulphur content of 0.5 to 1% may be between 20 to 25 TBN. For sulphur content over 1.5% the TBN number may be 70 or higher.
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