Brake Mean Effective Pressure   Volumetric Flow Rate  
  Indicated Mean Effective Pressure   Friction Mean Effective Pressure  
Compression/Expansion Ratio   Combustion   Pumping Losses   Mean Piston Speed   Total Bore Area   Volumetric Efficiency
  Gas Dynamics  

Experimentally, the power taken by the friction between the engine's components ( Pf ) is found by substracting the measured power at the crankshaft (P) from the potential power that we can obtained from the measured gas pressure acting inside the cylinder(s) (Pi).

Pf = PiP

Dividing equation (1) by the measured volumetric flow rate (Qm), we get an equation of pressure:



FMEPd = friction mean effective pressure differential
IMEPd = indicated mean effective pressure differential
BMEPd = brake mean effective pressure differential

So, the friction mean effective pressure represents the equivalent pressure «taken away» by the internal losses.

For reciprocating engines, we usually divide equation (1) by the theoretical volumetric flow rate, such that we obtain the average values instead of the differential values (see the BMEP page for more info).


A relationship has been well established between the mean piston speed ( vmps ) and the friction mean effective pressure to make a good estimation. This site goes further by an attempt to relate it as well to the indicated mean effective pressure:

FMEPd = IMEPd ( 0.09 Ksum + 0.008 vmps )

Where Ksum is the sum of all values (Kx) for the engine components in use, as presented in the next table:

engine componentKx
oil pump0.10
water pump0.10
fuel pump0.05
Note: If a component is not used or has roller bearings (except for pumps, which will always require power), Kx = 0 for that component. Add them all to obtain Ksum.
Main source: Chulalongkorn University, 2103471 Internal Combustion Engine, Lecture 13 notes, p.11. (original link)


Wankel engine

To relate the friction losses of the rotor of a Wankel engine to the piston of a reciprocating engine, as a trial, this site uses the mean rotor tip speed such that FMEPd becomes:

FMEPd = IMEPd ( 0.09 Ksum + 0.008 vmrts )

Remember that Wankel engine have no camshaft, lifters or rockers.