The oil film parameters of the wankel engine apex seal in aspects of durability of mating elements
The Wankel engine is one of only few alternatives to the reciprocating engines. The advantages such as good value of maximum engine power to its mass ratio are still present and can have great sense in selected fields of application, for example General Aviation. Nevertheless the disadvantages of the Wankel engine design have never lost its importance and still pose an obstacle to wider use of the Wankel engine. One of the main drawbacks is the rotor sealing system design, especially the apex seal where single siat has to fulfil a purpose of conventional engine piston rings pack. Moreover the unfavourable changes of the apex seal angle of attack causes that optimal shape of the apex seal sliding surface, in aspects of the oil film parameters, can not be achieved. These results in worsening of apex seal elements mating conditions, reducing its effectiveness and durability. In the paper authors present results of simulation researches where oil film parameters, for example oil film thickness, which determines apex seal durability, were obtained for different engine operating conditions and various shapes of apex seal sliding surface geometry. The results indicate possible directions during apex seal designing process which should provide oil film continuity in whole rotor angle position range and for wide engine operation conditions range.
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