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An internal combustion engine would not run for even a few minutes if the moving parts were allowed to make metal-to-metal contact. The heat generated due to the tremendous amounts of friction would melt the metals, leading to the destruction of the engine. In the engine, the piston rings generate friction against the cylinder walls. Friction opposes momentum and mechanical energy. Friction creates heat and reduces the mechanical energy of the piston as it is pushed downward to turn the crankshaft.


We can define Frication as an opposite force or reaction force between two relative surfaces when they are in motion. Friction is a force between two surfaces that are sliding, or trying to slide across one another.

From the law of Friction we know that, F = Rn Where, F= Frictional force = Coefficient of friction Rn= Normal reaction between the two surfaces


2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

Piston & Cylinder Assembly Friction Bearing Friction Crank Shaft Friction Reciprocating Friction Valve train Friction Auxiliary component friction Pumping losses.


Using piston with Less mass lowers the piston inertia and reduces acceleration. And shorter skirt. Because shorter piston skirts reduce rubbing friction because of the smaller surface contact area. Using fewer and thinner piston rings but require closer tolerances. To reduce resistance of surfaceto-surface motion, lubricating oil must be added to the space between the surfaces. Use new lubricating oil to avoiding wear of the engine.

Cylinder Gas Pressure

Side Thrust

Piston rings

Piston pin


We can define lubrication is reduction of friction by hydraulic floating. It holds an adequate supply of oil to cool, clean, lubricate, and seal the engine. It also removes contaminants from the oil and delivers oil to all necessary areas of the engine.


Reducing frictional resistance Lubricant decreases friction by preventing direct contact of two rubbing surfaces by supplying some fluid substance between them thereby it increase the power output and the engine service life.

Lubricant also acts as a coolant carrying heat away from the bearings, cylinders and pistons. Cleaning Lubricant cleans carbon and other deposits from the surfaces of the piston, piston rings and bearings. It also eliminates dust and other contaminants.

Mist lubrication system or petrol lubrication system Wet sump lubrication system
Splash system Pressure feed system

Splash and Pressure lubrication system

Dry sump lubrication system

Fig: Mist lubrication system or petrol lubrication system


Fig: Dry-sump Lubrication system. Fig: Pressure feed Lubrication system.



data from motored and fired engine tests indicate that the majority of engine friction is a result of the piston ring assembly, followed by the engine bearings/seals, various engine accessories, and finally, valve train friction. Multigrade oil reduces engine friction by using lubrication systems.