Picard, M., Hidaka, H., Tian, T., Nishino, T. et al., "Visualization of the Rotary Engine Oil Transport Mechanisms," SAE Int. J. Engines 7(3):1477-1488, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1665.
The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. In order to better understand oil transport, a laser induced fluorescence technique is used to visualize oil motion on the side of the rotor during engine operation. Oil transport from both metered oil and internal oil is observed. Starting from inside, oil accumulates in the rotor land during inward motion of the rotor created by its eccentric motion. Oil seals are then scraping the oil outward due to seal-housing clearance asymmetry between inward and outward motion. Cut-off seal does not provide an additional barrier to internal oil consumption. Internal oil then mixes with metered oil brought to the side of the rotor by gas leakage. Oil is finally pushed outward by centrifugal force, passes the side seals, and is thrown off in the combustion chamber.