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 Application of Ceramics to Marine Diesel Engines*
  By Yasuo Miyagi * *  
1. Introduction 
The utilization of fine ceramics for heat engines asstructural material, high temperature material inparticular, has been actively studied since 1970's.Researches on the application of fine ceramics to hightemperature components of gas turbine engines such asnozzle and turbine blades started mainly in westerncountries.Being coincident with the oil crisis at that time,researches on the application of fine ceramics to dieselengines, automobile and vehicle engines in pal1icular,also started feverishly.The council for Transport Technology submitted itsreport titled "The development of shipbuildingtech-no1ogy to be promoted in the future in response torecent change in industrial structure and progress inelemental technology" (Report on Inquiry No.13) inAugust of 1982, in which the following two subjectswere also taken up.  One is "High1y reliable plants"related to "Technologies to realize intelligent and highlyreliable Ships" and the other is "Fundamental researcheson engines using alternative fuels such as super lowgrade fuel oil, coal, and hydrogen" related to "Subjectsto cope with the 21st century". Researches on theapplication of fine ceramics to marine diesel enginesstarted in earnest in response to the statement in theaforementioned report saying that "It is expected topositively utilize ceramics, electronics and spacetechnology".In response to the aforementioned report, theMaritime Technology and Safety Bureau (the then ShipBureau) of the Ministry of Transport established"Specialists' Conference for Investigation and Researchon Adiabatic Diesel Engines". Following to this, JapanMarine Machinery Development Associationestablished "Task Committee for Investigation andResearch on Adiabatic Diesel Engines" and hadconducted tasks until March of 1987.
Translated from Journal of MESJ Vo1.28, No.9 
(Manuscript received Jun. 15, 1993 )Lectured May 27, 1 993 **
Ship Research Institute (6-38-1, Shinkawa,Mitaka, Tokyo, JAPAN)
Apart from the above, seven shipbuilding compa-nies jointly established  "Technical  ResearchAssociation for Reliable Marine Propulsion Plants" withthe purpose of "Research and development of highlyreliable marine propulsion plants" in September of 1983under the leadership of the Ministry of Transport.  Thisassociation had conducted tasks until March of 1989under the sponsorship of Japan Shipbuilding IndustryFoundaiton. Among these tasks, this association studiedimprovements in engine performance and reliability thatenabled engines to be operated without maintenance fora long period of time by utilizing ceramics forimproving the heat resisting and sliding properties of combustion chamber components .Following the completion of projects of the saidtechnical research association, the joint-stock companyADD that was financed by the subsidy of Associationfor Structural Improvement of the Shipbuilding Industryand the joint investment of Mitsui Engineering &Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.,Hitachi  Zosen  Corporation  and  JapanDevelopment Bank was established in September of 1989 in order to inherit and evo1ve the fruits of researchby the said technical research association. ADD ispositively forwarding researches on "Test and researchof highly reliable marine propulsion plants" includingfields where ceramics are utilized, still now.Ship Research Institute of the Ministry of Transportalso started researches on the utilization of ceramics formarine heat engines in 1966. In an early stage, ceramicsbased on oxides such as alumina and mullite were takeninto consideration with the purpose of the uti1ization of them for special heat exchangers for marine gas turbines.When started research, everything had to be done byfeel without having any strength test data, and thecorrosion resistance of ceramics against ash in heavyfuel oil had been studied by various high temperaturestrength and high temperature fatigue test methods by atrial and error approach
 Ship Research Institute started the researches onthe utilization of ceramics for diesel engines in earnestsince the research on consignment "Research anddevelopment of ceramic components of diesel engines"in 1982, which accelerated researches on ceramics.  It   October1994                                                                                 ( 1 ) 
70                                         Yasuo Miyagi  
had conducted the characteristic test and utilizationstudy of ceramics including silicon nitride and siliconcarbide unti1 that time. After that time, it has conductedvarious kinds of experin#1ental research using asnff1al1-sized diesel engine equipped with ceramiccomponents up to the present.  It is now conductingresearches on high temperature combustion chambersusing ceramics and a reduction in harmffi1 emissionsincluding NOx by using water emulsified fuels
2. Merits of the Utilization of Ceramics
 The energy utilization rates of marine dieselengines are exceptionally good and their thermalefficiencies exceed 50%. Consequent1y, the merits of the utilization of ceramics for marine engines differfrom those for automobile engines. The fo11owing areconsidered merits that can be expected by utilizingceramics.
 3. Subjects to be Studied when utilizingCeramics for Marine Use 3.1 Reliability
 Rliability is the most important property whenutilizing ceramics for marine diesel engines.  Theevaluation of the reliability of ceramics is not high ingeneral.  It is thought that this low evaluation comesfrom images such as insufficient toughness and greatstrength dispersion. For marine use, it is intended to useceramics with excellent high temperature strength,corrosion resistance and wear resistance for parts forwhich these properties of metallic materials areinsufficient.  Consequently, it is necessary tosufficiently investigate the properties of ceramics to beused.  It is essential to develop ceramic componentswith high temperature strength including fatiguestrength and creep strength and with small strengthdispersion. It is also necessary to know corrosionresistance of ceramics not only in an oxidationatmosphere but also against molten salts such asvanadium, sodium, sulfur, calsium and magnesiumincluded in fuel oil, 1ubricating oil and sea water.Friction and wear properties are also important in thecase where ceramics  are used for components havingsliding surfaces such as cylinder sleeves and pistonrings.
 3.2 Combustion Characteristic
In the case where ceramic components withthermal insulation ability are used around thecombustion chamber in order to reduce cooling loss,combustion condition changes, since combustionchamber wall and combustion gas temperatures becomehigh.  Attention must be given to the mixture of fuel oilwith air and fuel injection conditions. It is necessary toknow combustion characteristics of various kinds of fuel,since NOx increases and measures to lowerenvironmenta1 pollution are needed.
 3.3 Improvement in Efficiency
It is necessary to add equipment to recover energyin exhaust gas ill the case where cooling loss isdecreased and exhaust gas temperature is raised.Turbo-compound systems and exhaust gas economizersthat have already been on the market for marine use maybe usefu1.  However, the redesigning and costreduction of systems are considered necessary, sinceexhaust gas temperature becomes higher.
 3.4 Machinability and Cost
Ceramics are made by sintering and their hardnessis generally high. Consequently, it is incommensurablydifficult to machine them into necessary dimensions incomparison with metal. It is necessary to get sinteredproducts with dimensions close to final dimensions by.injection molding.  It is not too much to say that areduction in machining costs holds the key to putceramic products in practical use. Since it is difficult toproduce large-sized components from ceramics becausethey are sintered products, ideas must therefore be takeninto design.
 3.5 Nondestructive Inspection
Ceramic products can be destroyed even by defectsof 10
m or less which are smaller by two figures thanthose in case of metallic products. Advance screening,nondestructive inspection in particular, is therefore veryimportant. Since no ultrasonic flaw detector in practicaluse which can detect defects down to this size isavailable at the present, research in the future isexpected.
 4. Present States of Several Researches onCeramics in Ship Research Institute 4.1 Combustion of Water Emulsified Fuels onCeramic Engines
 This research aims at realizing high-performanceand low-po11ution diesel engines. In order to achievethis aim, the following measures are taken.The combustion chamber of a diesel engine iscovered with ceramics having thermal insulution abilityin 
   (2)                                                                  Bulletin of the M.E.S.J., Vo1. 22, No.2
Application of Ceramics to Marine Diesel Engines                                  71  
order to raise combustion gas and combustion chamberwall temperatures.  By exploiting these hightemperatures, water emulsified fuels in which fine waterdroplets are dispersed and mixed are burned in order toshorten a combustion period and realize almost perfectcombustion. Thus, combustion efficiency is improvedwhile decreasing nigrogen oxides and particulates. 
4.1.1 Experimental Facilities and Experimenta1Conditions
The experimental engine is of a direct injection, aircooled and naturally aspirated type, and its principalparticulas are shown in Table 1. In case of the metallicengine, the original engine is used as it is, and, in caseof the ceramic engine, its combustion chamber iscovered with PSZ (partially stabilized zirconia) andsilicon nitride ceramics as shown in Fig. 1.NOx, CO, THC and smoke of exhaust gas wereanalyzed.Table 2 shows experimental conditions in case theengine is operated on water emu1sified fuels.Experiments were carried out on three kinds of engines.Namely,
the metallic engine (nomenclature in thefigures: M),
the ceramic engine which is the sameas the original engine excepting its combustion chambercovered with ceramics (nomenclature in the figures: C)and
the ceramic engine of which cooling loss isreduced by lowering the rotating speed of its cooling fandown to 60% (nomenclature in the figures: D). The
 October1994                                                              ( 3 )  

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