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Engine Oil Systems and Their Types

For most modern aircraft to achieve flight, they rely on the combustion of fuel and air mixtures and other various engine systems to create and harness power for thrust and lift. While many engines produced today exhibit ample efficiency and safety, they may still generate large amounts of heat as a byproduct of their operations. As this heat can spread across assemblies, presenting danger to numerous parts and surfaces, it is important that there is an effective cooling system implemented. One common solution for engine-generated heat is to use aircraft oil and cooling systems, those of which manage temperatures through the use of lubricating substances.

For the standard internal combustion engine, many components and assemblies will rotate at high speeds, creating heat through friction and movement. With the implementation of proper lubrication for these moving and rotating parts, the negative effects of friction and heat can be combated to an efficient degree. As not all fluids are suitable for such applications, engines rely on what is known as aviation-grade oil.

While cooling is a large aspect of aviation grade oil, it is not the only duty it carries out. As stated before, aviation grade oil can be used as a lubricant, mitigating direction to guard engine components from wear and tear. Additionally, oil may also create a gas seal between the piston and cylinder walls for protection. As its last major role, oil will also pick up and remove foreign particles and contaminants as it passes through assemblies, removing such materials with the assistance of filtration elements. As the right oil may vary based on the aircraft engine in question, the type of climates the aircraft operates in, and other factors, it is important to be careful in your selection.

Aside from the variation of oil, aircraft may also differ in the type of engine lubrication system that they have. The two options include wet sump and dry sump systems, their difference mostly coming down to where exactly oil is stored and how it flows through assemblies. With the wet sump system, the reservoir is a built-in element of the crankcase near the bottom of the engine block. During operation, a mechanical fuel pump directs oil through filters and an oil cooler before it enters the engine itself. At this point, the clean and cooled oil will begin collecting contaminates and absorbing engine heat before eventually being drained back into the sump through the force of gravity.

Dry sump systems have many overlapping parts with the wet sump system, their difference being the fact that the dry sump system will have oil stored within an external oil tank. With separation, any returning oil will have to be redirected into the sump through the use of a scavenge pump. As the external oil reservoir is typically situated above the engine, gravity can be harnessed for providing assemblies a supply of oil to make certain aspects more simple. As compared to wet sump systems, the dry sump variation offers little risk to oil starvation and easier oil pressure control, though this is arguably offset by their cost, complexity, and weight.

With a better understanding of the way in which aircraft oil coolers work and the type of systems that are available, you can better carry out purchasing decisions for your various needs. Whether you are interested in engine oil system parts like remote mounted oil coolers, oil filters, arm compressor stator components, or other such items, look no further than Purchasing Union and our unrivaled inventory of items. On our website, we present customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that trace back to leading manufacturers that we trust. Take the time to explore our offerings as you see fit, and make use of our online RFQ service for any items of interest. By filling out and submitting a quote request form with as much detail as you can regarding your needs, a member of our staff will be able to tailor a customized solution fit for you in just 15 minutes or less!


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