THE function and behaviour of a lubricant on certain parts of an internal‐combustion engine is so complex that the knowledge on this subject is still very incomplete. After several years of experimentation both with specially designed apparatus and with actual engines, the authors of these notes have reached certain conclusions which they will here endeavour to record. Some of the conclusions must, nevertheless, be regarded as opinions only, since lubrication in all its forms is not yet an exact science. For instance, the exact means by which oil lubricates a piston‐ring reciprocating within a cylinder remains very obscure. The action of the lubricant at the rings and in some bearings, such as at the gudgeon‐pin, does not lend itself to mathematical treatment because the conditions are not constant. The alternate sliding and stopping is not a strictly continuous process, and neither the “fluid” nor the “boundary” theories of lubrication can be satisfactorily applied.
Thornycroft, O. and Barton, C.H. (1930), "The Lubrication of Engines: Important Conclusions Reached as a Result of Extensive Experiments With Specially Designed Apparatus", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 36-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb029235
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