Turbine Engine Dry Sump Variable Pressure Lubrication System

The dry-sump variable-pressure lubrication system uses the same basic subsystems that the regulated systems used (pressure Scavenge breather). [Figure]

Aircraft turbine engine lubrication system
Typical turbine dry-sump variable pressure lubrication system

The main difference is that the pressure in this system is not regulated by a regulating bypass valve. Most large turbofan engine pressure systems are variable-pressure systems in which the pump outlet pressure (oil pressure) depends on the engine rpm. In other words, the pump output pressure is proportional to the engine speed. Since the resistance to flow in the system does not vary much during operation and the pump has only the variable of turning faster or slower, the pressure is a function of engine speed. As an example, oil pressure can vary widely in this type of system, from 100 psi to over 260 psi, with the relief valve opening at about 540 psi.

Pressure Subsystem

The oil flows from the oil tank down to the pressure stage of the oil pump. A slight pressure in the tank assures that the flow of oil into the pressure pump is continuous. After being pressurized, it moves on to the oil filter where it is filtered. If the filter is clogged, the bypass valve sends the oil around the filter. There is no regulating valve but there is a relief valve to prevent the system pressure from exceeding the maximum limits. This valve is usually set to open well above the systems operating pressure.

The oil flows from the filter housing to the engine air/oil cooler. The oil either bypasses the cooler (cold) or passes through the cooler (hot) and then on to the fuel oil cooler. Through the use of the coolers, the fuel temperature is adjusted to meet the requirements needed for the engine. Some of the oil passes through the classified oil pressure trim orifice that helps adjust oil pressure at low speeds. The oil now flows through the last-chance oil filters (strainers) that remove particles from the oil if the oil filter has been bypassed. The engine oil passes through the nozzles to lubricate the bearings, gearboxes, seals, and accessory drive splines. After performing its functions of lubricating, cleaning, and cooling the bearings, the oil needs to be returned to the old tank by the scavenge system.

Scavenger Subsystem

The scavenger oil pump has several stages that pull oil from the bearing compartments and gear boxes and sends the oil to the tank. At the tank, the oil enters the deaerator, which separates the air from the scavenge oil. The oil returns to the tank and the air is vented through a check valve overboard. Each stage of the scavenge pump has a magnetic chip detector that can be removed for inspection.

Breather Subsystems

The purpose of the breather system is to remove air from the bearing compartments, separate breather air from oil, and vent the air overboard. The breather air from the bearing compartments is drawn to the gearbox by the deoiler. The deoiler is turned at high speed and causes the oil to separate from the air. The air is then vented with air from the deaerator overboard. By referring to Figure, notice that the deaerator is in the oil tank and the deoiler is in the main gear box.