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Surface layer activation (SLA) was used to directly measure piston ring wear in an operating heavy duty diesel engine. A top piston ring was irradiated to measure, in situ, wear rates as a function of lube oil cleanliness using naturally aged oil. The relationship between ring wear rate and contamination level in the oil was obtained for different particle size ranges. By the use of a wear model, ring wear rates were used to estimate ring life. The predicted wear calculated by SLA correlated very well to the actual wear as determined by profile traces.
Wear, surface layer activation, diesel engines, filtration