The conrod big end bearing is one of the most critical components of internal combustion engines; it is usually subjected to high dynamic loads and high sliding velocities between contacting surfaces are often involved. Therefore, the tribological behaviour of the conrod big end bearing is often one of the key elements to engine reliability, and it has been investigated both theoretically and experimentally in several contributions in the pertinent literature . With the ever-increasing quest to improve engine performance, and the consequent increase of the rotational speed and combustion/inertial loads, the cavitation of the lubricant used in conrod big end bearings may play a crucial role in the assessment of bearing durability. To overcome problems related to film cavitation, palliatives such as the reduction of the clearance between the components, the increase of the oil supply pressure and/or the use of harder coating materials have been commonly adopted. However, such simple adjustments do not always represent a valid solution; further investigations are required in order to avoid cavitation damage occurrence. The cavitation damage has been studied for more than a century both theoretically [2-5] and experimentally [6,7], and many attempts have been made to predict or measure the pressure spikes developing in the cavitated areas due to bubble collapse. Although a universally accepted theory seems not to exist, it is clear that the cavitation damage occurs due to the rapid and violent collapse of the vapour bubbles in the proximity of a solid boundary. The aim of the present work is the preliminary evaluation of the damaging effect of the cavitation in a conrod big end bearing via elasto-hydrodinamic numerical analyses.
Preliminary investigation of the cavitation damage in the conrod big end bearing of a high performance engine via a mass-conserving complementarity algorithm / Giacopini, Matteo; Bertocchi, Enrico; Baldini, Andrea; Strozzi, Antonio. - (2015), pp. 111-112. (Intervento presentato al convegno Colloquium 575: Contact mechanics and coupled problems in surface phenomena tenutosi a IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy nel 30 March – 2 April 2015).