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1914-18 Engine oils.

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MikeMeech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeMeech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2013 at 09:59
Hi Peter
 
In 'The Aviation Pocket-Book' of 1918, on page 140, it has this to say about  engine lubricating oil:
 
"A temperature of 60 degrees cent. (150.8 degrees F.) should not be exceeded, or else a good working viscosity will not be maintained.  This condition of temperature can only be assured on the dry sump system, where all the oil not actually being pumped under pressure, around the engine bearings, is pumped out of the pump into a storage and cooling tank (open to the atmosphere).  A good quality castor oil (vegetable) gives superior results to the best mineral oils.  It is practically non-mixable with petrol, and hence is essential for use in rotary engines.  All oils should be prepared in such a manner as to resist too much thickening under low temperature conditions."
 
That is it as the rest of the page and part of the next is on 'Lubrication of Bearings', the next nearly 5 pages is on fuels.
 
Mike
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whiskymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2013 at 14:31
Thanks Mike. I think the word 'prepared' says it all.   The preparation and use of lubricating oils was obviously still a bit of a 'black art'; the life of aircraft engines probably having as much to do with the skill of the mechanic as the quality of the materials the engine was made of.
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EnglishGent View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EnglishGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2013 at 22:49
Interesting thread “1914-18 Engine oils”
Here is my 2 cents.
See: Air Board engine handbook 1917, on page 3.

Quote:

LUBRICATION. The importance of efficient lubrication in aero engines cannot be over-estimated and none but suitable oil of the very best quality should be used. In engines of the rotary type, a heavy vegetable oil, such as castor oil, is generally used. Under the conditions of use, oils of this type do not mix with petrol of which a certain amount is always present in the crankcase of a rotary engine. Pure castor oil forms an extremely good lubricant but is not the best for use in stationary engines .where the oil is in circulation and is passed through the bearings, etc., over and over again. Under such circumstances its lubricating properties are gradually destroyed, the oil becoming gummy and acid. In stationary engines mineral oils are generally used, but a mixture of a large proportion of castor oil, with a small proportion of mineral oil, known as Wakefield's Castrol, is also in use, and pure ,castor oil is recommended in certain cases. The castor oils in general use are Pharmaceutical Castor Oil and Treated Castor Oil. Castor oil deposits solid fats at low temperatures and should not be stored in cold places. When castor oil is used, the engine oil filter should be examined to detect this deposit. The mineral oils in general use are known as Vacuum" A " and Vacuum " BB," .and mixtures of these are also used. In general oils are prepared in summer and winter qualities.

PETROL. Petrol tanks should be kept scrupulously clean, and on no account, should water be allowed to enter. Petrol of low s.g. ensures easy starting, complete combustion and saving in weight, but the supply of petrol of a lighter
s.g. than about •720 is restricted.

Unquote:

I now know why they used Castrol. It’s all about what works best.

That’s all I know.
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Errol Martyn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Errol Martyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2013 at 02:02
Whiskymac's little query has certainly generated an interesting exploration on the subject of fuel and oil, one about which I suspect like many others I previously knew next to nothing about, but am now grateful for being much better informed thanks to this splendid forum.
 
Errol
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whiskymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2013 at 09:05
Derek, many thanks for this great info. I think we have now got to the crux of the matter.
Much as with Peter Wrights earlier reply, these Air Board Notes seem to have all the information I was looking for. I was primarily trying to find anything which might help with my research into the issue of overheating RNAS seaplane engines in the Aegean theatre - Short 166, 184 etc - and just why they seemed to have so many reliability problems.
Rather than just looking at the coolant issue I wondered about the question of oils and their role in an engines life-span. Well now I know!

Many thanks to all who have contributed to this forum. Of course if anyone has any more they wish to add please do so, the more info the better.

Cheers all, Peter.
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whiskymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2013 at 09:12
Thanks Errol. I never imagined that oil could be so consuming.

(Pun intentional!)

Peter.
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NickForder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2013 at 12:55

From R-RHT :

 
Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Instruction Book Eagle (Series I to VIII) and Falcon (I, II and III):

 

Oil recommended: The Oil Tank should be filled with a good aero engine oil such as Wakefield’s Castrol R Racing, Prices Motorine C or  Price Gas Engine Oil S. We recommend an oil viscosity (redwood) between the following limits : 54 C ... 250-420 secs 100 C ... 60-85 secs

 

The Oil Consumption of each engine is recorded during its test at our works and marked on the nameplate. It is about 1 gallon per hour for Eagle engines and ¾ of a gallon for Falcon engines

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whiskymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2013 at 13:17
Many thanks for your research Nick. It's amazing isn't it that a consumption figure of a gallon an hour was considered quite acceptable back then.

I wonder what the figures for the currant Rolls-Royce Trent are? No! Ignore that. That's for another forum.

Peter.
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KK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2013 at 18:01
Originally posted by whiskymac whiskymac wrote:

Thanks Errol. I never imagined that oil could be so consuming.

(Pun intentional!)

Peter.
Look at you with your SLICK answers.Wink
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whiskymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2013 at 17:45
Now this will teach me to check my own book shelves before embarking on a subject on the forum!!

From 'Aircraft Engines' by AW Judge, 1941. (which I have had for a good many years!)

'There is a certain property associated with lubricating oils, which, for want of a better name, is termed "oiliness". It is difficult to define, but it can be stated that it is a surface effect produced by the lubricant upon the metallic surface with which it is in contact. In this connection "fatty" oils, ie, oils saponifiable or those containing "fatty" ingredients, such as castor, rape or olive oil, exhibit a greater degree of "oiliness" than purely mineral oils, so that the frictional coefficient at any given temperature is lower under severe conditions of loading and slow speeds.'

It continues: 'In this connection it has been found than when pure hydrocarbon (mineral) oils are blended with fatty oil, the former constituent appears to eliminate the normal tendency of the fatty oil to oxidise and thicken under engine operating temperatures. Castor oil alone was used in many of the earlier aircraft engines. This oil possessed good lubricating properties at engine temperatures and enabled high bearing pressures to be employed; moreover, as it did not mix appreciably with the petrol used in these engines the crankcase oil was not thereby diluted. Its chief drawback - and one that has since caused its abandonment for normal aircraft purposes - was its gumming tendency, which resulted in the sticking of piston rings in their slots and the valves in their guides ...
Castor oil, on account of its excellent "oiliness" is still [in 1941] employed for the purpose of running in new engines for the first few hours of their operation; thereafter special mineral or compound oils are employed.'

In my own defence said book was hidden behind a good many others!
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