Theses and Dissertations @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Controlling the oil consumption of diesel engines is important for customer satisfaction. Existing oil consumption measurement methods are adequate; however, improved methods offer the possibility of faster and more comprehensive results. The sulfur-trace method is an example. Major objectives of this investigation were to adopt a sulfur-trace analyzer for oil consumption measurements, to improve the oil consumption measurement process, and to demonstrate application of the sulfur-trace instrument to individual cylinder sampling. To achieve these objectives, four research questions were applied: (1) What procedures and attention to detail are required? (2) how can results be reported to maximize data interpretation? (3) how do the advantages of the sulfur-trace method compare with the drain-and-weigh method? and (4) what is recommended as an optimized test method? Addressing Research Question 1 required careful attention to numerous parts of the sulfur-trace instrument. These parts included: (a) insulating and heating the exhaust sample lines, (b) ensuring continuous and proper operation of the ozone generator, (c) controlling the precise flow rate of the sample, and (d) removing excess water from the sample. Addressing Research Question 2 required a strip chart recorder, a spreadsheet template, and a chart template to organize, record, and report data. The strip chart recorder provided a backup analog record and a means to document daily activity. Raw data were entered into a spreadsheet for subsequent analyses required for chart reporting. Addressing Research Question 3 included a comparison of sulfur-trace vs. drain-and-weigh method durations and capabilities. After optimization, the same oil consumption results were collected in 10 minutes using the sulfur-trace method as compared with the 100 hours required for the drain-and-weigh method. More importantly, the sulfur-trace method may be used to collect oil consumption data from each individual cylinder, which is not possible by the drain-and-weigh method. To address Research Question 4, the oil consumption test matrix was evaluated. The original test matrix included data from every cylinder for several load and speed conditions. This required more than one week of testing. Five engine test points, rather than 25, were found to be sufficient for mapping the oil consumption of most engines.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Technology


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Ervin A. Dennis, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xv, 127 pages)



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