Second ring fluttering and radial ring collapse are recognized as having significant influences on engine blowby and oil consumption. As the gas flow is coupled with the piston ring motion, understanding the ring dynamics is important for understanding not only the engine blowby mechanism, but also oil consumption mechanisms and how to control them. Only second ring flutter and collapse that occurs around the top dead center firing conditions is examined in this paper based on a modern heavy-duty diesel engine. However, the principles described are equally applicable to all engines.
First, the authors describe the fundamental mechanisms of how second ring fluttering and radial ring collapse occurs. This is described by examining the forces that are acting on the second ring. Then, two cases are shown. One case shows second ring flutter and the other case shows stable second ring motion. The reasons for these two different cases are explained, including the effect of static twist and the end gaps of the rings.
A sensitivity study was performed to evaluate the effect of changing the top and second ring end gaps on ring lift. It was shown how the gaps could affect the second ring flutter and ring collapse.
It is concluded that the second ring will be more likely to flutter or collapse if it has a negative static twist, if the second ring end gap is large, and/or if the top ring end gap is small. If the second ring does not flutter, it may still be possible to design the ring pack such that there is not any reverse blowby. However, this must be carefully studied and controlled or the second land pressures will be too high, resulting in reverse blowby and/or top ring lifting.