Research on the Use of Ceramics in Diesels

  • D. J. Godfrey
  • D. A. Parker
  • M. L. P. Rhodes
  • R. F. Smart
Part of the Army Materials Technology Conference Series book series (volume 1)


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.


Diesel Engine Silicon Nitride Silicon Nitride Ceramic Single Cylinder Engine Piston Crown 


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  1. 1.
    D. J. Godfrey and E. R. W. May, “The Resistance of Silicon Nitride Ceramics to Thermal Shock and other Hostile Environments11 in Ceramics in Severe Environments”, Ed. W.W. Kriegel and Hayne Palmour III, Plenum Press, New York (1971), 149.Google Scholar
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    B. D. Gibson and R. B. Stone, Private Communication.Google Scholar
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    D. A. Parker and R. F. Smart, “An Evaluation of Silicon Nitride Diesel Pistons”, Proc. Brit. Ceram. Soc. 26: 167 (1978)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    D. J. Godfrey, “The Performance of Ceramics in the Diesel Engine”, in “Ceramics for High Performance Applications — II”, Ed. J. J. Burke, A.E. Gorum and R. N. Katz, Brook Hill Publ. Co., Chestnut Hill (1978), 877.Google Scholar
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    D. McLaughlin, “Ceramic Applications in the Diesel Engine”, Proc. Brit. Ceram. Soc., 26: 183 (1978)Google Scholar
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    W. J. Griffiths, “Thermodynamic Simulation of the Diesel Engine Cycle to show the Effect of Increasing Combustion Chamber Wall Temperatures on Thermal Efficiency and Heat Rejection”, We11worthy Topics, 63, (1976–7)Google Scholar
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    R. Kamo, “Cycles and Performance Studies for Advanced Diesel Engines”, in loc. cit. reference 5 above.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Godfrey
    • 1
  • D. A. Parker
    • 2
  • M. L. P. Rhodes
    • 2
  • R. F. Smart
    • 2
  1. 1.Admiralty Marine Technology EstablishmentHolton Heath, Poole, DorsetUK
  2. 2.Associated Engineering Developments Limited RugbyWarwickshireUK

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