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Int. J. of Vehicle Design, Vol. 31, No.

2, 2003 187
The effects of crankshaft offset on the engine friction
M.-R. Cho*, J.-S. Kim
y
, D.-Y. Oh
z
and
D.-C. Han
x
*Senior Research Engineer, Gasoline Engine Test Team, Power
Train R&D Centre, Hyundai Motor Co., 7721, Changduk-dong,
Whasung-city, Kyonggi-do, 445850, Korea.
E-mail: formel1@hyundai-motor.com
y
Senior Research Engineer, Gasoline Engine Test Team, Power
Train R&D Centre, Hyundai Motor Co., 7721, Changduk-dong,
Whasung-city, Kyonggi-do, 445850, Korea.
E-mail: drjoong@hyundai-motor.com
z
Senior Research Engineer, Gasoline Engine Test Team, Power
Train R&D Centre, Hyundai Motor Co., 7721, Changduk-dong,
Whasung-city, Kyonggi-do, 445850, Korea.
E-mail: daeyoon@hyundai-motor.com
x
Professor School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Seoul
National University, San 561, Shilim-dong, Kwanak-gu, Seoul,
151742, Korea.
E-mail: dchan@amed.snu.ac.kr
Abstract: This paper reports on the effects of crankshaft offset on the
engine friction. The effects of crank offset are investigated through the
theoretical analysis. In this study, the mathematical models are presented
for evaluating the friction level of each engine parts. From the predicted
results, the crank offset inuences on the side force acted on the piston pin
and sliding speed of piston. With application of crank offset, the friction
loss of piston skirt is signicantly reduced. The optimal crank offset to
minimize the friction losses is variable according to the operating
conditions, and the offset effect is reduced as engine speed and load
increase As can be seen in the presented results, crank offset is very effective
to reduce the engine friction.
Keywords: crankshaft, engine, friction, offset, piston skirt, side force.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Cho, M.-R., Kim, J.-S.,
Oh, D.-Y. and Han, D.-C. (2003) The effects of crankshaft offset on the
engine friction, Int. J. Vehicle Design, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 187201.
Nomenclature
A Bearing surface area
A
c
Real contact area
a Distance from the top of skirt to the pin
B Bearing width
Copyright # 2003 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
187
b Distance from the top of skirt to the C.G.
b
p
Ring width
C Clearance between skirt and cylinder
C
g
Distance between C.G. and wrist-pin
C
o
Crank offset
C
p
Distance between wrist-pin and piston centre
C
R
Radial clearance of engine bearing
E Youngs Modulus
e
b
Eccentric length of piston bottom
e
t
Eccentric length of piston top
_ ee
b
Radial velocity of piston bottom
_ ee
t
Radial velocity of piston top
F Total normal force in skirt
F
bx;y
Connecting-rod bearing force
F
c
Asperity contact normal force
F
con
Connecting-rod force
F
f
Total friction force
F
fc
Asperity contact friction force
F
fh
Hydrodynamic friction force
F
gas
Combustion gas force
F
h
Hydrodynamic normal force in skirt
F
oil
Hydrodynamic force of ring
F
pinx
Inertia force due to pin mass in x-direction
F
piny
Inertia force due to pin mass in y-direction
F
pisx
Inertia force due to piston mass in x-direction
F
pisy
Inertia force due to piston mass in y-direction
F
pr
Total ring force
F
r;f
Reaction force of bearing
H Dimensionless oil lm thickness, h=s
h Nominal lm thickness
h
m
Minimum oil lm thickness
I
pis
Piston moment of inertia
L Piston skirt length
l Connecting-rod length
M Total moment about wrist-pin
M
c
Asperity contact moment
M
f
Total friction moment
M
fc
Friction moment due to asperity contact
M
fh
Friction moment due to hydrodynamic
M
h
Hydrodynamic moment
M
r
Rotating mass of crankshaft
M
pis
Inertia moment of piston skirt
m
j
Equivalent mass of crank journal and pin
m
pin
Wrist-pin mass
m
pis
Piston skirt mass
p Hydrodynamic pressure
p
b
Back pressure in ring groove
P
c
Asperity contact pressure
188 M.-R. Cho et al.
p
TE
Ring tension
R Nominal radius of piston skirt
r
c
Crank radius
t Time
U Sliding speed
W External force in bearing, W

F
2
bx
F
2
by
_

YY Piston skirt acceleration


a Piston skirt bearing angle
b Connecting-rod angle
b
r
Asperity radius of curvature
e Eccentricity in bearing
e
b
Eccentricity of piston bottom
e
t
Eccentricity of piston top
_ ee
b
Radial velocity of piston bottom
_ ee
t
Radial velocity of piston top
f
x
; f
y
Pressure ow factor
f
s
Shear ow factor
f
f
; f
fp
; f
fs
Shear stress factor
f Attitude angle of bearing
j;
~
yy Bearing angular coordinate
Z Oil viscosity
m Asperity density
m
f
Friction coefcient
y Crank angle
s Composite rms roughness, s

s
2
1
s
2
2
_
t Hydrodynamic component of shear stress
o Rotational speed
1 Introduction
The fuel economy is the most important aspects of modern engine design and
development. Therefore new technologies such as EMV (electromechanical
valvetrain), GDI (gasoline direct injection) and CVVT(continuous variable valve
timing) are developed, and applied to the new engines. In addition to such efforts,
much study is actively in progress to reduce the mechanical friction losses in engine
accounted for 15% of total energy input from the fuel. A 10% reduction of
mechanical friction losses would result in a 2.5% decrease in fuel consumption.
The most of engine friction losses occur at the engine moving part composed
of valvetrain, piston and crankshaft. The efforts to reduce the engine friction
have resulted in the reduction of size and the usage of low viscosity engine oil.
Specially, it is trend to apply small size bearing, low-tension ring and low-stiffness
valve spring.
In generally, piston assembly contributes 4045% of total engine friction losses,
and of which 40% is attributed to the piston-skirt. In recent years, the crank offset
technique is presented for reducing the friction loss of piston skirt. However there
are only a few paper investigating the effects of crank offset on the reduction of
The effects of crankshaft offset 189
engine friction. From the results of Shinichi, et al. [1], about 3% improvement of fuel
consumption was conrmed in the low speed part load condition, and there exists an
optimal crank position to minimize fuel consumption. They supposed that the
improvement of fuel economy is caused by improvement of thermal efciency.
Nakayama, et al. [2] conrmed effect of crank offset through a oating liner
method. They concluded that the improvement of engine friction is caused by
reduction of piston side force, and sliding velocity during the expansion stroke.
However they concluded crank offset cannot simply be applied to a production
engine.
In this study, an analytical model was presented to determine the effects of crank
offset on the friction of engine bearing, ring-pack and piston skirt. From these, the
various results were derived to evaluate the effects of crank offset on the reduction of
engine friction.
2 Analytical model
2.1 Equations of motion
Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of engine with crankshaft offset. Crankshaft
axis from the cylinder bore centre moves to the thrust side of piston. The amount of
offsetting is adjusted within the range that the rotation of crankshaft is not disturbed
Figure 1 Schematic diagram of piston crankshaft assembly with crank offset.
190 M.-R. Cho et al.
by cylinder bore. With application of crank offset, connecting-rod length and crank
radius are also changed to maintain the cylinder volume.
The sliding velocity and acceleration of piston with crank offset are dened as
follows:
_
YY r
c
osin y r
c
oM cos yl
2
M
2

1=2
1

YY r
c
o
2
cos y r
c
oM cos y
2
l
2
M
2

3=2
r
c
ocos y
2
ro
2
M sin y
_ _
l
2
M
2

0:5
2
where,
M r
c
sin y C
p
C
o
3
The variation of acceleration according to offset inuences on inertia force of piston,
and external force acted on piston and crank pin. Thus, the changes of speed and
load will affect dynamics and tribologycal characteristics of engine moving parts.
Then analytical models to derive the equations of motion in each moving parts are
shown in Figure 2.
Piston skirt shows the rst and secondary motion within the cylinder bore. The
rst motion is translation to the radial direction, and the secondary is rotating
motion about axis of cylinder centre. From the Figure 2(a), the governing equation
of piston secondary motion can be expressed as follows [3, 4]:
m
pin
1
a
L
_ _
m
pis
1
b
L
_ _
m
pin
a
L
m
pis
b
L
I
pis
L
m
pis
a b 1
b
L
_ _
m
pis
a b
b
L

I
pis
L
_

_
_

_
ee
t
ee
b
_ _

F F
f
F
gas
F
pisy
F
piny
tan f
M M
f
F
gas
C
p
F
pisy
C
g
_ _
4
In Equation 4, the reaction forces, F, F
f
, M, M
f
, can be obtained by oil lm and
asperity contact pressure. The detailed denition is expressed following section.
As can be seen in Figure 2(b), the journal motion within the engine bearing is
described by the following the non-linear equilibrium equations [5], along the line of
centres and its perpendicular direction
m
j
C
R
ee e
_
ff
2
_ _
F
r
W cos f 5
m
j
C
R
e

ff 2e
_
ff
_ _
F
f
W sin f 6
In Equation 5 and 6, F
r
, F
f
are the resultant uid lm force which are determined
from integrating the oil lm pressure. The applied force, W, contains connecting-rod
and main bearing load. The applied load to connecting-rod bearing can be obtained
from the external force through the connecting-rod, and inertia force of rotating
The effects of crankshaft offset 191
Figure 2 Dynamic modelling of engine moving parts.
192 M.-R. Cho et al.
mass. However, it is very difcult to calculate the accurate main bearing load
because crankshaft system supported by main bearing is statically indeterminate
system. In this study, the statically determinate method [6] is used to simplify the
analysis.
In a ring-pack, the reaction forces by oil lm and asperity contact are in
equilibrium to the ring tension and inter-ring pressure. Therefore the force
equilibrium in the piston ring is expressed as follows [7].
F
pr
h
m
;
dh
dt
_ _
F
oil
F
C
2pRb
p
p
TE
p
b
0 7
In the above equations of motion, the reaction force related to oil lm and asperity
contact can be obtained using the lubrication and friction analysis, which presented
in the following section.
2.2 Lubrication analysis
The average Reynolds equation [8,9] is used as the governing equation for
lubrication analysis, which expressed as following form:
d
dx
f
x
h
3
Z
dp
dx
_ _

d
dy
f
y
h
3
Z
dp
dy
_ _
6 U j j
dh
t
dy
6s
df
s
dy
_ _
12
dh
t
dt
8
We make some assumptions to apply above equation to each lubricating parts. In
the rst, it is assumed that engine bearing is operating under fully hydrodynamic
lubrication regime. Therefore the ow factor terms related to surface roughness are
eliminated. In the ring-pack, ring width is innitely shorter than circumferential
length. Therefore pressure gradient along the ring width is considered only. In the
piston skirt, 2-dimensional mixed lubrication is considered.
The classical Reynolds boundary condition is used to solve the Equation 8.
Equation 8 is discretized in nite difference forms and pressure distribution in the
uid lm is obtained by iterative technique.
From the Greenwood and Tripps asperity contact model [10], the average
asperity contact pressure is expressed as follows:
P
c
H
8

2
p
15
p mb
r
s
2
E

s
b
r
_
F
2:5
H 9
F
n
H
1

2p
p
_
?
H
s H
n
e
s
e
=2
ds 10
In Equations 47, the reaction forces can be calculated by using the oil lm pressure
and contact pressure, and they are dened as following form 36.
The effects of crankshaft offset 193
Piston skirt:
F F
h
F
c
; M M
h
M
c
11
F
h
R
_ _
A
p cos
~
yy ad
~
yydy 12
M
h
R
_ _
A
pa y cos
~
yy ad
~
yydy 13
F
c
R
_ _
A
P
c
cos
~
yy ad
~
yydy 14
M
c
R
_ _
A
P
c
a y cos
~
yy ad
~
yydy 15
Engine bearing:
F
r

_ _
A
p cos j dj dz 16
F
f

_ _
A
p sin j dj dz 17
Piston ring:
F
oil
2pR
_
b
p
0
pdx 18
F
c
2pR
_
b
p
0
P
c
dx 19
The total friction force in each lubricating areas consists of hydrodynamic and
boundary frictrion. The shear stress, friction force and its moment acting on rough
surface can be deend as follows [3]:
t
h

mU
h
f
f
f
fs
f
fp
h
2
qP
h
qy
20
F
f

_ _
t
h
dA m
f
_ _
P
c
dA
c
21
M
f

_ _
t
h
~ aadA m
f
_ _
P
c
~ aadA
c
22
The hydrodynamic friction is considered only in engine bearing.
194 M.-R. Cho et al.
2.3 Numerical procedure
The numerical procedure for obtaining the variation of minimum oil lm thickness
or friction force is as follows:
1 The initial values of journal centre, ring and piston skirt are assumed.
2 The oil lm thickness is calculated, and then each uid factor is determined.
3 The pressure distribution is calculated by using the direct integration or ADI
(alternating direction implicit) iteration procedure for solving Equation 8, and
contact pressure is determined by using the Equation 9.
4 The integration to determine the uid lm and asperity contact forces (Equations
1122) is performed using the Simpsons rule.
5 The new positions of journal centre, ring and skirt are determined by using the
fourth-order Runge-Kutta (Equations 46) and Newton-Raphson (Equation 7)
method. The above procedure is repeated, until the convergence for equilibrium
position is achieved during the whole engine cycle.
3 Results and discussion
Figure 3 shows the calculated side forces acted on the piston pin during the whole
engine cycle for various crank offsets. As crank offset increases, the piston side force
at the anti-thrust side increases during the compression stroke while it decreases
during the expansion stroke at thrust side. Figure 4 shows the calculated results of
mean side forces for the various engine speeds. There is a crank offset to minimize
mean side force, but it is variable according to engine speeds. As engine speed
increases, the amount of offset to minimize the mean side force is decreased, and
crank offset has good effect on the side force reduction at low engine speed.
Table 2 gives the maximum and mean bearing load for each bearing. As can be
seen in Table 2, crank offset has little effect on acting force on the engine bearing in
Table 1 Specication of test engine.
Engine type L4/1.5L
Connecting-rod length (mm) 131
Bore dia. (mm) 75.5
Stroke (mm) 83.5
Main bearing
dia (mm) 50
width (mm) 18
Connecting-rod bearing
dia. (mm) 45
width (mm) 16
Bore pitch (mm) 82
Total ring tension (kgf) 5.09
Total ring width (mm) 5.2
Piston Assy. mass (kg) 0.305
Crankshaft mass (kg) 13.4
Connecting-rod mass (kg) 0.450
The effects of crankshaft offset 195
spite of side force reduction. It is because that the external load on engine bearings is
mainly inuenced by gas pressure. The friction torque of engine bearing is function
of oil lm thickness, which depends on the bearing force. Therefore the effect of
crank offset on the friction torque of crankshaft system will also be very small, and
that can be conrmed in Figure 5.
Figure 3 Calculated results side force variation under the full load condition.
196 M.-R. Cho et al.
Figure 4 Effect of crank offset on the mean side force under the full load condition.
Table 2 Calculated results of maximum and mean bearing force under the full load at 2000rpm.
Offset
(mm)
Maximum and mean load (kN)
Connecting-rod Main 1 Main 2 Main 3
0 18.0/2.85 9.12/1.34 9.59/2.56 8.99/2.53
5 17.9/2.84 9.08/1.33 9.56/2.55 8.94/2.52
9 17.8/2.83 9.05/1.33 9.54/2.55 8.91/2.52
12 17.8/2.83 9.04/1.33 9.53/2.55 8.90/2.52
15 17.8/2.83 9.03/1.33 9.52/2.55 8.89/2.52
20 17.7/2.84 9.03/1.33 9.52/2.56 8.88/2.53
25 17.8/2.84 9.04/1.34 9.54/2.57 8.89/2.53
Figure 5 Effect of crank offset on the mean friction torque in engine bearings under the full load condition.
The effects of crankshaft offset 197
The application of offset inuences on the sliding velocity of piston and side
force. The variation of sliding speed of piston by crank offset is displayed in Figure
6. The sliding speed is decreased by offset during the 0908 crank angles, which
resulted in lower shearing rate in the oil lm, but friction force increases the other
region due to higher sliding speed. Therefore, the effect of offset on ring-pack
friction is negligible which can be conrmed in Figure 7.
Figure 8 gives results for the offset effect on the skirt friction loss for the different
engine speeds and loads. As the engine speed becomes higher, the friction loss is
Figure 6 Effect of crank offset on the sliding speed of piston at 2000 rpm.
Figure 7 Effect of crank offset on the mean power loss of piston ring-pack under the full load condition.
198 M.-R. Cho et al.
increased because of higher shear rate of uid lm. The friction of piston skirt is
usually determined by piston secondary motion inuenced by side force. Therefore,
the crank offset signicantly decreases the friction loss of skirt by reduction of side
force. Under the full load condition, the minimum power loss occurs near the 15 mm
offset at low engine speeds, but the minimum position moves toward 5 mm offset at
Figure 8 Effect of crank offset on the mean power loss of piston skirt.
The effects of crankshaft offset 199
higher engine speed. This tendency is similar to the result of mean side force in
Figure 4. Under the part load condition, the minimum power loss occurs near the
20 mm offset at low engine speed. The reduction rate of skirt friction is summarized
in Table 3. The offset effect is considerably high at low speed and part load
condition, but that is decreased as speed and load increase. From the above results, it
is conrm that the friction of piston skirt is directly affected by side force, and crank
offset is effective to reduce the piston skirt friction under the low engine speed and
part load condition.
4 Conclusion
In this study, an analytical model for the engine moving system was described, and
applied to investigate the effect of crank offset on engine friction. From the
analytical results, the following conclusions are derived.
1 The crank offset is very effective to reduce the skirt friction. This is caused by
reduction of side force. The effect of offset on the other parts is very small.
2 The crank offset is very effective under the part load and low engine speed
condition. As engine speed increases, the offset position for minimizing the skirt
friction is decreased independent of load condition.
3 The crank offset could not cover the overall operating conditions, and there
exists an optimal point where offset effect is extremely high.
References
1 Shinichi, S., Eiichi, K. and Tatehito, U. (1996) Improvement of Thermal Efciency by
Offsetting the Crankshaft Centre to the Cylinder Bore Centre, JSAE paper 9638770.
2 Nakayama, K., Tamaki, S., Miki, H. and Takiguchi, M. (2000) The Effect of Crankshaft
Offset on Piston Friction Force in a Gasoline Engine, SAE paper 2000020922.
3 Zhu, D., Cheng, H.S., Arai, T. and Hamai, K. (1992) A Numerical Analysis for Piston
Skirts in Mixed Lubrication-Part I: Basic Modeling, ASME Trans. Journal of Tribology,
Vol. 114, pp. 553562.
Table 3 The reduction rate of skirt friction by crank offset.
Offset (mm)
Friction reduction rate (%)
Part Load Full Load
1500 2000 3000 4000 1500 2000 3000 4000
5 8.3 9.1 9.7 6.8 5.7 6.1 7.0 3.9
9 17.1 19.0 11.5 2.2 9.4 9.3 8.3 11.4
12 31.6 21.9 11.7 15.5 11.0 11.1 6.7 27.2
15 34.9 24.4 11.5 38.4 10.6 13.0 6.2 38.9
20 39.6 29.0 27.1 74.0 8.4 1.4 45.5 59.7
25 16.6 2.0 68.5 97.3 19.1 34.0 62.2 72.7
200 M.-R. Cho et al.
4 Han, D.C., Kim, J.Y., Cho, M.R. and Lee, J.S. (2000) A Study on the Dynamic and
Mixed Lubrication Analysis of Piston Skirt, International Tribology Conference 2000,
Nagasaki.
5 Cho, M.R., Han, D.C. and Choi, J.K. (1999) Oil Film Thickness in Engine Connecting-
Rod Bearing with Consideration of Thermal Effects: Comparison between Theory and
Experiment, ASME Trans. Journal of Tribology, Vol. 121, pp. 901907.
6 Cho, M.R., Shin, H.J. and Han, D.C. (2000) A Study on the Circumferential Groove
Effects on the Minimum Oil Film Thickness in Engine Bearings, KSME International
Journal, Vol. 14, No. 7, pp. 737743.
7 Rohde, S.M. (1980) A Mixed Friction Model For Dynamically Loaded Contacts with
Application to Piston Ring Lubrication, Proc. the 7th Leeds-Lyon Symposium on
Tribology, Butterworths, pp. 262278.
8 Patir, N. and Cheng, H.S. (1978) An Average Flow Model for Determining Effects
of Three Dimensional Roughness on Partial Hydrodynamic Lubrication, ASME
Trans. Journal of Lubrication Technology, Vol. 100, No. 1, pp. 1217.
9 Patir, N. and Cheng, H.S. (1979) Application of Average Flow Model to Lubrication
Between Rough Sliding Surface, ASME Trans. Journal of Lubrication Technology,
Vol. 121, No. 2, pp. 220230.
10 Greenwood, J.A. and Tripp, J.H. (1971) The Contact of Two Nominally Flat Rough
Surface, Proc. Instn. Mech. Engrs., Vol. 185, pp. 48/71.
The effects of crankshaft offset 201

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