Welling, O., Collings, N., Williams, J., and Moss, J., "Impact of Lubricant Composition on Low-speed Pre-Ignition," SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-1213, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1213.
One of the limits on the maximum fuel efficiency benefit to be gained from turbocharged, downsized gasoline engines is the occurrence of pre-ignitions at low engine speed. These pre-ignitions may lead to high pressures and extreme knock (megaknock or superknock) which can cause severe engine damage. Though the mechanism leading to megaknock is not completely resolved, pre-ignitions are thought to arise from local autoignition of areas in the cylinder which are rich in low ignition delay “contaminants” such as engine oil and/or heavy ends of gasoline. These contaminants are introduced to the combustion chamber at various points in the engine cycle (e.g. entering from the top land crevice during blow-down or washed from the cylinder walls during DI wall impingement).This paper presents results from tests in which model “contaminants”, consisting of engine lubricant base stocks, base stocks mixed with fuel and base stocks mixed with one or more additives were injected directly into a test engine to determine their propensity to ignite. The ignition tendency was found to be lower for less reactive base stocks and for base stocks mixed with certain additives. Further, when small amounts of fuel were mixed with relatively non-ignitive lubricant base stocks the ignition tendency was found to increase significantly. These results may guide development of new lubricants which could be used to reduce megaknock in downsized engines.