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Multi Body Dynamic Analysis of Slider Crank Mechanism to Study the

effect of Cylinder Offset


Vikas Kumar Agarwal
Deputy Manager
Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd.
MIDC Chinchwad
Pune 411019 India

Abbreviations: FHP: Frictional Horse Power


3D: Three Dimensional
MBD: Multi Body Dynamic
FMEP: Friction Mean Effective Pressure
TS: Thrust Side
ATS: Anti Thrust Side
RPM: Revolution per Minute

Keywords: Crankshaft, Friction, Thrust Force, Piston, Offset


Abstract

To improve the mechanical efficiency of a single cylinder motor cycle engine, cylinder offset is introduced. The offset leads to lesser
piston-liner interface forces and subsequently lesser frictional power.

The crank train dynamics are evaluated for crank offset. A linear 3D MBD model with rigid bodies is set up in MotionView and solved
using MotionSolve. The combustion pressure with the rotational crank motion is imposed on the mechanism. The simulation for
important crank angular velocities viz. maximum power and torque are carried out. HyperGraph is used to derive the frictional force &
frictional power at piston liner interface assuming the primary rigid behavior of the piston and a constant friction coefficient. An
important decrease in the liner thrust force is observed particularly during expansion stroke. The frictional power is evaluated from
velocity integral of thrust force, which shows sizeable improvement during expansion stroke.

Therefore, based on the study the initial assumption regarding cylinder offset is justified and finds its place in the final engine design.

Introduction

In recent years, with increased demand for low fuel consumption vehicles, the efficient consumption of the
fuel has become one of the most important factors for automobile industry during engine development
stage. A number of techniques are used for better fuel efficiency such as gasoline direct injection, variable
valve timing, variable valve lift etc. resulting in improved thermal efficiency. Reducing friction loss, which
contributes around 5 percent of total power loss in the engine, is another area to focus on with an intention
of improving fuel economy [1-3]. Reducing friction would improve mechanical efficiency of the engine
considerably. It has been seen that a 10 percent reduction in engine friction improves fuel economy by 1-1.5
percent at full load [4].
In an engine, the major frictional loss happens at valve train, piston ring assembly, crankshaft & other
moving parts. The piston ring assembly alone contributes 40-65 percent of the total friction loss [5], of which
the loss in piston skirt is about 40-50 percent. A crank offset methodology was proposed to reduce friction
loss in the piston assembly [6]. The effect of crank offset has been studied in more detail by Shinichi et al.

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[7], which reports that, when a crank offset is kept, fuel economy improves by 3 percent at low engine speed
& part load, and there is an optimum point to maximize the offset effect. This effect is largely due to the
piston side force and sliding speed.

This study sets up a useful model to analyze the offset with regard to the side thrust force and cumulative
effect with the piston sliding motion to examine the effect of crank offset on reduction in friction, which will
help in determining the amount of offset for a given engine based on its operating conditions.

Process Methodology
Equations of Motion

Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of the crank offset engine. In such arrangement the crankshaft center
is positioned towards the piston thrust side w.r.t. cylinder bore. The amount of offset chosen is within a
range ensuring that the rotation of the crankshaft is not disturbed by the cylinder block. With application of
the offset, it is also necessary to adjust the connecting rod length and the crank radius to fit the combustion
chamber volume and compression ratio.

Figure 1: Schematic diagram of piston–crankshaft assembly with crank offset

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The kinematics of such a system is quite different from traditional arrangement as discussed by A Ghosh, A
K Mallik [8]. The piston movement, speed and acceleration with an offset are calculated as follows.

st  r cos2πωt
l  r sin2πωt  e ……………(1)

   !
vt  2rπωsin2πωt
$ ……………(2)
"#    !#

rr sin2πωt  e r sin2πωt  e sin2πωt  r cos2πωt


at  4rπ ω cos2πωt  '
$
# l  r sin2πωt  e
l  r sin2πωt  e

……………(3)

Where,
r = crank radius, l = connecting rod length, e = crank offset
ω = Crank Angular Velocity
s(t) = Piston Displacement, v(t) = Piston Velocity & a(t) = Piston Acceleration

The change in piston kinematics affects the piston dynamic inertial force and the load on the piston pin &
crank pin. The changes in the loads and speeds result in the changed value of frictional power loss.

Results & Discussions


Figure 2 & 3 shows the piston speed & acceleration plots respectively during a power stroke and its
variation with offset present. The zero crank angle in all the plots denote TDC.

Figure 4 shows the side force working upon the piston as a result of the crank offset under full engine load
at 8000 engine rpm. Considering that the piston acts on the liner with this side force, it is expected that the
side force reduction by offset would be effective in reducing friction in the piston skirt. It is observed that the
maximum side load occurs during compression stroke known as thrust side (TS), and relatively less peaks
occurs during other strokes known as anti thrust side (ATS). This happens due to high combustion pressure
contributing to the side force. Figure 4 also shows that side force working in the piston thrust direction
decreases when crank offset is applied to an extent that increases with increase in offset magnitude.
Because of the crank offset, however, the side force to the antithrust side increases. When the absolute
maximum force during on power stroke is taken and such value is plotted against crank offset for various
engine speed, it is found to attain minimum values for specific offset value. It is shown in Figure 6. In
addition, at each engine speed it is seen that there is an offset magnitude that minimizes the maximum side
forces. However, when the engine speed changes, the offset magnitude at which the side force is minimal
tends to differ. For this engine the optimal offset seems to lie between 4mm to 12 mm.

The piston movement on the liner interface with the evaluated side force generates the frictional loss. The
cumulative effect of the two under full engine load at 8000 engine rpm is shown in the figure 7. The plot
shows reduction in the frictional loss in the expansion stroke, an increase concurrently occurs during the
compression stroke. The net frictional power loss is evaluated for a complete power cycle. Figure 8 shows
the variation of frictional loss with respect to offset. It shows minimum frictional loss at 10 mm crank offset.
Figure 9 shows the results at other working engine rpm values. It is observed that the optimum value lies
between 8mm to 12mm.

Therefore, based on the this study we can conclude that crank offset shall be decided after careful
deliberation on the engine working conditions, since a single offset value may not yield same advantage in
all the engine running conditions.

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Figure 2: Piston speed variation at various crank Figure 4: Piston Side Force variation at various
offset crank offset

Figure 3: Piston Acceleration variation at various


crank offset Figure 5: Piston Maximum Side (TS & ATS)
Force variation with crank offset

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Figure 6:: Piston Maximum Side Force variation Figure 8:: Piston Frictional loss variation with
with crank offset crank offset

Figure 7:: Piston Frictional loss variation at


various crank offset
Figure 9:: Piston Frictional loss variation with
crank offset at various engine rpm at full load
condition

Benefits Summary
The study shows a considerable improvement in the mechanical efficiency of the engine due to introduction
of crank offset. The advantage is 6% at 8000rpm and 8.2% at 7000 rpm. The overall reduction in the
frictional loss varies between 4%
% to10%.
to The effective improvement in the brake horse power of the engine
is about 0.5 percent.

Challenges
An accurate combustion
ombustion pressure acting on the piston is the most important input in the determination of the
piston side force
e and subsequent friction power. Moreover, since combustion at part load engine running
conditions is very difficult to ascertain. Therefore, an accurate test data would improve the results

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significantly. However, for this study an estimated pressure values have been taken in absence of the
experimental values.

Future Plans
The piston liner interface hydrodynamic study is planned for further analysis of the side force and its
distribution over the piston skirt along the thrust side and anti thrust side. Considering that the secondary
motion of the piston skirt is affected by the side force working upon the piston, which plays an important role
in the distribution of the friction, lubrication. The other important factors viz. Asperity contact, oil viscosity
analysis, temperature also need to be looked into depth. Other factors must come into play therefore, in
order to realize a net gain in friction with an offset crankshaft architecture.

Conclusions
The study elaborates a plan to determine the optimum offset for a given engine and its operating conditions.
It will help engine designer to understand the effect of offset and decide the most feasible offset based on
the engine layout, packaging and friction advantage.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author would like to thank R&D, Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd. & Altair India for their continued help &
support.

REFERENCES

[1] Kovach, J. T., Tsakris, E. A. and Wang, L. T. Engine friction reduction or improved fuel economy. SAE paper 820085, 1985.
[2] Pohlmann, J. D. and Kuck, H. A. The influence of design parameters on engine friction. In Proceedings of Conference on
Combustion Engines—Reduction of Friction and Wear, 1985, C73/85, pp. 67–73.
[3] Hoshi, M. Reducing friction losses in automobile engines. Tribology Int., 1984, 17(4), 185–189.
[4] Parker, D. A., Adams, D. R. and Barrett, D. J. S. The reduction of friction in the internal combustion engine. AE Technical
Symposium, 1982, paper 29.
[5] Rao, V. D. N., Kabat, D. M., Yeager, D. and Lizotte, B. Engine studies of solid film lubrication coated pistons. SAE paper 970009,
1997.
[6] Nakayama, K., Tamaki, S., Miki, H. and Takiguchi, M. The effect of crankshaft offset on piston friction force in a gasoline engine.
SAE paper 2000-02-0922, 2000.
[7] Shinichi, S., Eiichi, K. and Tatehito, U. Improvement of thermal efficiency by offsetting the crankshaft center to the cylinder bore
center. JSAE paper 9638770, 1996.
[8] A Ghosh, A K Mallik, "Theory of Mechanism & Machines"

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