What parameters make a long lasting engine?

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What is most important parameter when we must build long last internal combustion engine and why?

specific output : HP/Displacement ?
HP per each cylinder?
Torque per cylinder?
Displacement per cylinder?
HP / piston area ?
RPM / displacement of one cylinder?
Numbers of cylinder?
Low RPM as possible?
Low combustion pressure?
Long stroke ,narrow bore?
Piston average speed?
 
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  • #2
berkeman
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What is most important parameter when we must build long last internal combustion engine and why?

specific output : HP/Displacement ?
HP per each cylinder?
Torque per cylinder?
Displacement per cylinder?
HP / piston area ?
RPM / displacement?
Numbers of cylinder?
Low RPM as possible?
Low combustion pressure?
Long stroke ,narrow bore?
Piston average speed?
What is the context of your question? Is this for schoolwork?
 
  • #3
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What is the context of your question? Is this for schoolwork?
No this is not schollwork,it is general discusion.
 
  • #4
phinds
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Well, then tell us what YOU think are the most important and why.
 
  • #5
berkeman
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No this is not schollwork,it is general discusion.
Okay. So what do you think are the most important things that lead to a longer life of internal combustion engines (ICEs)?

Oops, @phinds beat me to it, as usual...
 
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  • #6
Baluncore
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What is most important parameter when we must build long last internal combustion engine and why?
All of the above, and none of the above.
My simple answer is "maximum piston speed". Keep the piston speed low for the best lubrication and minimum fatigue of the piston rings.
 
  • #7
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Well, then tell us what YOU think are the most important and why.
I am not sure so I ask here in hope some mechanical engineer will make detail explanation..

But I know that all long last engines truck,bus etc has very low specific output, around 30-40HP/L
modern car diesel engine around 100HP/L, tanker only 4HP/L !
Tanker has 100 000HP and 25480 Liters !
 
  • #8
phinds
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I am not sure so I ask here in hope some mechanical engineer will make detail explanation..
Have you tried researching your question at all (I mean other than just asking others for the information instead of looking for it yourself) ? We expect SOME effort on your part when you ask for help here.
 
  • #9
jack action
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1. Low mean piston speed = better longevity.

The piston must accelerate and decelerate from zero, to its maximum speed, to zero again, all within one stroke. These accelerations create tremendous stresses on the engine parts and increase the friction losses in the bearings. The high speeds also increase the friction losses.

2. Next would be the heat dissipation characteristics. Overheating an engine is not good for longevity.

3. Finally, higher pressure on the piston will add to the stresses on the mechanical parts (which brings the same consequences as stated in point 1).
 
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  • #10
phinds
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1. Low mean piston ...
2. Next ...
3. Finally ...
OK, I guess we DON'T want him to do his own research before coming here.
 
  • #11
Baluncore
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OK, I guess we DON'T want him to do his own research before coming here.
Understanding IC engines is a lifelong vocation. You cannot do it over the weekend.

A short answer reduces confusion and gets the reader headed in the right direction. A full explanation would be too long for this forum.

You can find the full explanation spread through a dozen different textbooks. But it is not until you get near the end that you will realise what is actually most important with regard to durability.
 
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  • #12
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3. Finally, higher pressure on the piston will add to the stresses on the mechanical parts (which brings the same consequences as stated in point 1).
I agree but brake mean effective pressure (BMFP)of tanker which last 50years is 35Bar and Ferrari high rpm engine has BMFP=12 Bar last only 100 000km.

So we cant strictly follow this numbers in sense of engine longivity because leads as to wrong conclusion that high cylinder pressure (high BMEP) means increeased engine life...
 
  • #13
DaveE
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You left out the most obvious parameter: Cost.
 
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  • #14
Baluncore
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So we cant strictly follow this numbers in sense of engine longivity because leads as to wrong conclusion that high cylinder pressure (high BMEP) means increeased engine life...
That is why your question only has a general answer, which is not applicable to every specific engine configuration. Everything plays a part, including the driver and the service mechanic.
 
  • #15
Ranger Mike
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From a guy who grenade many many engines over the years racing, my main concern is heat and flex poor design where form does not follow function. More on this later.

Specially here, heat means excess heat, flex means dynamic flex ( non-controller harmonics).



Heat robs motor oil of lubrication properties over time. Heat destroys the valve spring life span. Then you have valve float then the piston smacks the valve, may break it off and engine eats it. Bam.

Heat can cook the motor oil and may even set it on fire. Heat can cause cracks I the block and cylinder head. Heat can warp cylinder heads and cause blown head gaskets. Heat can cause loss of coolant by changing liquid to steam and booom



Flex is where the load is more the original design limits. Flex of the crank shaft means poor lubrication, scored bearings eventual failure. Flex can mean crankshafts crack then break. Flex in valve train components mean erratic valve timing possible valve float, possible timing chain breakage. Flex here may be due to weak skinny push rods, weak timing chain /belts, accessories driven off cam timing irregularities ( distributor flex). Flex of cylinders in the engine case (block ) is horsepower robbing and long term liability.

This is one area severely overlooked when designing race engines.





poor design where form does not follow function – Number one consideration is the oil system. Stock oil systems are great for grocery getters but terrible to race. Oil does two things, lubricate and cool. Too much oil pressure can be as bad as too little. Oil must be controlled at all levels of performance. Oil under pressure shoot up to the bottom of the piston and cools it. Too much and the piston rings are overcome and can not control it. We have smoke, fouled spark plugs and a mess. Not so obvious is the danger of too high oil pressure in the upper oil galleries. Typically the oil is meant to flow up top then make many right angle turns to various other engine components. When the speed gets too great, the oil ha a difficult time making the 90 degree turn, hence, poor oiling. One more danger is oil aeration. Passing many moving parts creates potential for introducing air bubbles into the oil and air don’t lube too good! In the old days valve lifters were in the oil gallery and after the oil passed all the way past 3 lifters the oil capability of number 4 was dramatically reduced. We found that we could supply oil into the oil galleries from both ends of the block and the oil would meet in the middle and then back fill all the 90 degree turns a lot more effectively. Proper oiling means controlling the oil to the valve train to keep the valve springs cool but not to over pump oil top side and overcome the valve seals. Oil should return the ethe oil pan as soon as possible. You don’t want a bunch of oil slinging around inside engine block as it robs power and goes where it should not. Oil sling can cause parasitic drag.



Flex – One of the most impressive engine blocks I ever saw was the 292 CID straight six truck block Ford made. It has 7 main bearing caps. I never heard of a crankshaft busting all the time this engine was raced. If you look at the small block Chevy V8 block the main bearing caps are bolter to the flat block surface. No lateral support against flex. This is one reason the y had to go to 4 bolt mains. The old Mopar (Chrysler) B block had enormous lateral support. Monster Hemi’s had the same deal and added a main cap bolt 90 degrees to the crank thru the engine block.



Mopar small blocks were famous for blown head gaskets. The cylinder head design was for 4 head bolts on each cylinder. The small block chevy had 5. One other flaw was the deck thickness the small block Mopar. This was the design engineers light weight thin wall casting block concept. They wanted a light weight V8 for the compact cars in the early 1960’s. But thin wall design meant ----- FLEX. We had to pour a concrete metallic mixture into the engine block at the water coolant passages until it was about an inch thick, This stiffened cylinders and tied them in to each other to prevent flex. It still did not help the thin deck (thickness of iron material flat surface the cylinder head bolts to) but it helped longevity. Did not impact cooling either.

Any way that’s my take on things to consider.
 

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  • #16
phinds
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Understanding IC engines is a lifelong vocation. You cannot do it over the weekend.

A short answer reduces confusion and gets the reader headed in the right direction. A full explanation would be too long for this forum.
OK, fair point.
 
  • #17
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What is most important parameter when we must build long last internal combustion engine and why?
...
If you must build a long lasting reciprocating IC engine, study the characteristics of existing engines that were designed to achieve that: Diesel engines for big ships and stationary power generators.
Those are heavy (abundant iron-based metal) and robust (especially bearings and valves), which help with most of the phenomena that has been very well explained above.

Poor operation, frequent start-ups and neglected maintenance can destroy the best designed engine very briefly.
 
  • #18
jack action
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I agree but brake mean effective pressure (BMFP)of tanker which last 50years is 35Bar and Ferrari high rpm engine has BMFP=12 Bar last only 100 000km.

So we cant strictly follow this numbers in sense of engine longivity because leads as to wrong conclusion that high cylinder pressure (high BMEP) means increeased engine life...
I added this one at the last minute to make sure everything was covered (say using a supercharged engine fueled by nitromethane compared with a naturally-aspirated one fueled by gasoline), but the mean piston speed is really the most important one.

You can always make the engine beefier to withstand large pressures or add a more powerful cooling system to retrieve more heat, bu the accelerating parts is a catch 22: If you make them bigger, they are more resistant, but the inertia forces are also greater. Ultimately, the material strength becomes a limiting factor.
 
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  • #19
Ranger Mike
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As usual Jack is correct..heartily agree, piston speed most important, if you want it to last.
 
  • #20
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From a guy who grenade many many engines over the years racing, my main concern is heat and flex poor design where form does not follow function. More on this later.

Specially here, heat means excess heat, flex means dynamic flex ( non-controller harmonics).



Heat robs motor oil of lubrication properties over time. Heat destroys the valve spring life span. Then you have valve float then the piston smacks the valve, may break it off and engine eats it. Bam.

Heat can cook the motor oil and may even set it on fire. Heat can cause cracks I the block and cylinder head. Heat can warp cylinder heads and cause blown head gaskets. Heat can cause loss of coolant by changing liquid to steam and booom



Flex is where the load is more the original design limits. Flex of the crank shaft means poor lubrication, scored bearings eventual failure. Flex can mean crankshafts crack then break. Flex in valve train components mean erratic valve timing possible valve float, possible timing chain breakage. Flex here may be due to weak skinny push rods, weak timing chain /belts, accessories driven off cam timing irregularities ( distributor flex). Flex of cylinders in the engine case (block ) is horsepower robbing and long term liability.

This is one area severely overlooked when designing race engines.





poor design where form does not follow function – Number one consideration is the oil system. Stock oil systems are great for grocery getters but terrible to race. Oil does two things, lubricate and cool. Too much oil pressure can be as bad as too little. Oil must be controlled at all levels of performance. Oil under pressure shoot up to the bottom of the piston and cools it. Too much and the piston rings are overcome and can not control it. We have smoke, fouled spark plugs and a mess. Not so obvious is the danger of too high oil pressure in the upper oil galleries. Typically the oil is meant to flow up top then make many right angle turns to various other engine components. When the speed gets too great, the oil ha a difficult time making the 90 degree turn, hence, poor oiling. One more danger is oil aeration. Passing many moving parts creates potential for introducing air bubbles into the oil and air don’t lube too good! In the old days valve lifters were in the oil gallery and after the oil passed all the way past 3 lifters the oil capability of number 4 was dramatically reduced. We found that we could supply oil into the oil galleries from both ends of the block and the oil would meet in the middle and then back fill all the 90 degree turns a lot more effectively. Proper oiling means controlling the oil to the valve train to keep the valve springs cool but not to over pump oil top side and overcome the valve seals. Oil should return the ethe oil pan as soon as possible. You don’t want a bunch of oil slinging around inside engine block as it robs power and goes where it should not. Oil sling can cause parasitic drag.



Flex – One of the most impressive engine blocks I ever saw was the 292 CID straight six truck block Ford made. It has 7 main bearing caps. I never heard of a crankshaft busting all the time this engine was raced. If you look at the small block Chevy V8 block the main bearing caps are bolter to the flat block surface. No lateral support against flex. This is one reason the y had to go to 4 bolt mains. The old Mopar (Chrysler) B block had enormous lateral support. Monster Hemi’s had the same deal and added a main cap bolt 90 degrees to the crank thru the engine block.



Mopar small blocks were famous for blown head gaskets. The cylinder head design was for 4 head bolts on each cylinder. The small block chevy had 5. One other flaw was the deck thickness the small block Mopar. This was the design engineers light weight thin wall casting block concept. They wanted a light weight V8 for the compact cars in the early 1960’s. But thin wall design meant ----- FLEX. We had to pour a concrete metallic mixture into the engine block at the water coolant passages until it was about an inch thick, This stiffened cylinders and tied them in to each other to prevent flex. It still did not help the thin deck (thickness of iron material flat surface the cylinder head bolts to) but it helped longevity. Did not impact cooling either.

Any way that’s my take on things to consider.
Do you know what are engines with lonigest TBO(time between overahaul) and which common parameter of them reduced engine wear the most, low piston speed, low specific output(HP/L) or maybe high brake mean effective pressure(which dont make sense)?

I notice that this low rpm-long last engines has very high mean effective pressure,which increase heat and force on piston/ring/bearings..,isnt that weird ?
 
  • #21
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You can always make the engine beefier to withstand large pressures or add a more powerful cooling system to retrieve more heat, bu the accelerating parts is a catch 22: If you make them bigger, they are more resistant, but the inertia forces are also greater. Ultimately, the material strength becomes a limiting factor.
If piston never really touch cylinder because of oil film(in engine without failure),why than piston speed increase wear?
Can you explain what happend in high piston speed engines to increase wear and reduced life time?
 
  • #22
Averagesupernova
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If piston never really touch cylinder because of oil film(in engine without failure),why than piston speed increase wear?
Can you explain what happend in high piston speed engines to increase wear and reduced life time?
I won't claim to be an expert about this but the fact that an oil film exists does not guarantee absolutely ZERO wear. The definition of the word lubricant should imply this.
 
  • #23
jack action
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Can you explain what happend in high piston speed engines to increase wear and reduced life time?
It's fatigue due to the constant pushing and pulling of the pistons (just the weight of them) and also causes the flex that @Ranger Mike was talking about in his post:
https://smartmechanicals.blogspot.com/2019/10/what-are-reasons-for-bending-bulking-of.html said:
Fatigue

Fatigue is the main cause of broken connecting rods--especially in older engines. The constant compression during the power stroke and stretching during the exhaust stroke, over thousands of times a minute, eventually wears the metal out and it becomes brittle and finally breaks. If the oil is low or dirty it can speed up this process. Running the engine hot can also speed up the process. Sometimes a fairly new engine can have fatigued connecting rods if it is a rebuilt engine and the mechanic used cheap parts or the wrong parts for the engine.
Here's what a crankshaft looks like under stress (deformations are emphasized to better see them):

analysis-frecuency-crankshaft.gif

analysis-harmonic-cranshaft-motor4l-all-frecuency.gif
 
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  • #24
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It's fatigue due to the constant pushing and pulling of the pistons (just the weight of them) and also causes the flex that @Ranger Mike was talking about in his post:


Here's what a crankshaft looks like under stress (deformations are emphasized to better see them):

So key for durability is low piston speed and low specific power.

What is difference between mean effective pressure and brake mean effective pressure formula?


Does formula include max torque or torque at peak power?
Which torque is better to choose when compare two engines?
 
  • #25
jack action
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What is difference between mean effective pressure and brake mean effective pressure formula?
MEP is the general formula where any value of torque can be used. BMEP is where the torque value comes specifically from a dynamometer reading.
Does formula include max torque or torque at peak power?
Which torque is better to choose when compare two engines?
You would usually plot BMEP against rpm, just like with torque or power. The rpm for the maximum value will necessarily coincide with the rpm of the maximum torque.
 

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