Engine Lubrication Systems

The turbine engine lubrication system plays a critical role in the performance of any aircraft engine. While these systems vary depending on things like engine model, aircraft type, and manufacturer, there are 6 components present in virtually all engine lubrication systems: the oil tank, oil pump, turbine oil filters, oil pressure regulator valve, oil pressure relief valve, and oil jets. This blog will explain each component and their role within the system as a whole.

The first component of the engine lubrication system is the oil tank, which serves to supply a constant flow of oil to the engine at any attitude. This is achieved by an orchestra of components that work in their own unique ways to ensure the proper flow of oil in a number of flight scenarios. Oil tanks are also built with space to allow for the expansion of oil once it begins to heat up and foam, and a vent for air release at the top of the tank.

The oil pump is designed to supply pressure to the parts of the engine that require lubrication, circulate the oil through coolers when needed, and return the oil to the tank. Oil pumps come in many types, and different types can be used based on design requirements or intended application. The two most common types of oil pump are the gear and gerotor configurations. The two types differ in a few ways, but the main difference is that a gear pump has two separate elements for pressure and scavenging. The gerotor pump features a single element for pressurization and multiple elements for scavenging. Scavenging is the process of replacing the exhaust gas in an engine so it can carry out another cycle.

Another important part of the lubrication system is the filters, which remove foreign particles and debris in the oil. This is especially critical in gas turbine engines because the high speed these engines operate means contaminated oil can damage the antifriction components within the engine. The outer filter element is made from varying materials such as paper and metal mesh. Oil flows through this filter element from the outside and into the filter body where it is cleaned before recirculating. 

To keep the pressure in the lubrication system constant, oil systems feature a regulation valve on the pressurized side of the oil pump. This keeps the systems pressure under control and sets a limit for pressure within the system. In oil systems that do not feature a regulation valve, a relief valve is present. This valve differs from the regulation valve in that it is only used when pressure exceeds the limit for the system in which it operates. The final component of the engine lubrication system is the oil jets or nozzles. These are located in the pressure lines next to or within the bearing compartments and rotor shaft couplings. These nozzles deliver oil in the form of an atomized spray. These nozzles are easily clogged because of their size and therefore must be free of contaminants - another reason the filter is important.

At ASAP Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the oil tank parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. Whether you need oil pressure gauge parts, oil pump parts, flapper valves, or any other hardware products, ASAP Components is the source you’ve been looking for. 


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