Turbine Lubrication System Components – Oil Tank

in Lubrication and Cooling Systems

The following component descriptions include most found in the various turbine lubrication systems. However, since engine oil systems vary somewhat according to engine model and manufacturer, not all of these components are necessarily found in any one system.

Oil Tank

Although the dry-sump systems use an oil tank that contains most of the oil supply, a small sump is usually included on the engine to hold a small supply of oil. It usually contains the oil pump, the scavenge and pressure inlet strainers, scavenge return connection, pressure outlet ports, an oil filter, and mounting bosses for the oil pressure gauge and temperature bulb connections.

A view of a typical oil tank is shown in Figure 6-31. It is designed to furnish a constant supply of oil to the engine during any aircraft attitude. This is done by a swivel outlet assembly mounted inside the tank, a horizontal baffle mounted in the center of the tank, two flapper check valves mounted on the baffle, and a positive vent system.

Figure 6-31. Oil tank.

Figure 6-31. Oil tank.

The swivel outlet fitting is controlled by a weighted end that is free to swing below the baffle. The flapper valves in the baffle are normally open; they close only when the oil in the bottom of the tank tends to rush to the top of the tank during decelerations. This traps the oil in the bottom of the tank where it is picked up by the swivel fitting. A sump drain is located in the bottom of the tank. The vent system inside the tank is so arranged that the airspace is vented at all times even though oil may be forced to the top of the tank by deceleration of the aircraft.

All oil tanks are provided with expansion space. This allows expansion of the oil after heat is absorbed from the bearings and gears and after the oil foams as a result of circulating through the system. Some tanks also incorporate a deaerator tray for separating air from the oil returned to the top of the tank by the scavenger system. Usually these deaerators are the can type in which oil enters at a tangent. The air released is carried out through the vent system in the top of the tank. In most oil tanks, a pressure buildup is desired within the tank to ensure a positive flow of oil to the oil pump inlet. This pressure buildup is made possible by running the vent line through an adjustable check relief valve. The check relief valve is usually set to relieve at about 4 psi, keeping positive pressure on the oil pump inlet. If the air temperature is abnormally low, the oil may be changed to a lighter grade. Some engines may provide for the installation of an immersion-type oil heater.