Research on the Use of Ceramics in Diesels
Exploration of the use of ceramics in diesel engines in the UK has so far shown that in comparison with the gas turbine situation the potential advantages of ceramics are harder to identify, but the practical difficulties are considerably less. The feasibility of using a reaction-bonded silicon nitride (RBSN) 50 mm piston in a Villiers 0.9 kW gasoline engine was demonstrated in 19701, as was the use of a 108 mm piston in a Gardner 9 kW diesel engine in 19732,3. In a further and more detailed investigation a highly rated 15 kW Petter diesel piston had a 50% survival rate, as partly described4 and reviewed5 in previous presentations. An analysis of this work is given below; subsequent work has been with a 4 cylinder vehicle engine, for which RBSN pistons have been designed and are currently being tested.
KeywordsDiesel Engine Silicon Nitride Silicon Nitride Ceramic Single Cylinder Engine Piston Crown
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