surface tension, lubricant-refrigerant mixtures, pendant drop method, low-viscous lubricants, carbon dioxide
The optimization of refrigeration systems can be achieved by increasing the isentropic efficiency of the compressor. One possible way is the reduction of the friction and leakage losses which occur at the piston rings. The viscosity and the surface tension of the lubricant must be known for this purpose. From the literature only a small amount of measured values for the surface tension of commonly used lubricants are known. Additionally natural refrigerants like R-744 are more common according to the latest (European) environmental regulation. The thermophysical properties of lubricant-refrigerant-mixtures can currently only be calculated by generalized calculation methods. For specific mixtures, these equations need to be confirmed by measurements. In this paper the measurement results of the surface tension of different low-viscous lubricants are shown. A test bench was designed to measure the surface tension of different liquids especially under high pressure atmospheres. The investigation was performed by using the pendant drop method and analyzing the results with new algorithms for the solution of the Young-Laplace equation. Effects of the geometry of the used capillaries are discussed which leads to possible optimizations of this measurement method. Dilution effects of the surface tension of the lubricants in carbon dioxide atmospheres are shown and discussed. The effect of higher pressures and different temperatures on the surface tension is shown as well as a comparison of the measurements with generalized methods.