Environmental concerns have prompted sulfur reductions in diesel fuels. These changes can decrease unadditized fuel lubricity, resulting in higher wear of diesel injection pumps and engines. Actual diesel pump and engine tests are costly, and existing diesel fuel lubricity bench tests appear to be failing to evaluate the fuel lubricity adequately. This has prompted the described development steps for the M-ROCLE bench test. It employs a crossed roller on cylinder geometry and computer data acquisition systems. The measured wear scar area stress is divided by the theoretical elastic Hertzian contact stress, and friction coefficient, to yield a dimensionless Lubricity Number (LN) indicating the lubricating property of the test fuel. Based on previous work and from correlation with HFRR test data, an LN > 1.0 was established as the pass value for a diesel fuel of sufficient lubricity. The overall coefficient of variation in published Lubricity Numbers, based on six individual test runs for some hundred fuels surveyed to date, was 5.3%. This is indicative of high precision in the M-ROCLE method.
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