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Investigation of Thermal Barrier Coatings on IC Engines

Investigation of Thermal Barrier Coatings on IC Engines

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Published by: arunparande2011 on May 10, 2011
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12/14/2012

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INTRODUCTION
 
Fulfilling customer needs are essential for business success. The activities of an automobile manufacturer have to be oriented towards the customer’s expectationand customers delight. Nowadays, needs like functionality, comfort, safety, reliability,as well as high level of quality are taken for granted. Design, material quality andtheir perception are reflected. Correct material selection is essential in order toguarantee functionality or grace fullness of the multitude components of anautomobile. The piston, cylinder liner and valves are the important parts of theinternal combustion engine to be given more attention.In baseline engine, the liner undergoes a severe wear at high temperatures of combustion which results in seizure of the liner. Due to heat losses through thecylinder walls, the thermal efficiency of the engine decreases. Reduction of emissionsfrom diesel engine is becoming increasingly important, because of promulgation of stringent emissions legislation. Particulate and NO
x
emission are the primary concernfor diesel engine owing to the nature of the compression ignition process and dieselfuel consumption. The challenging problems occurring are due to the presence of solid particulates in the exhaust, in addition to gas phase pollutants. In order tominimize these pollutants, it is necessary to go for an alternate method to designengine cylinder and its combustion chamber components. The rapid increase in fuelexpenses, the decreasing supply of high grade fuels in the market and environmentalconcerns stimulated research for more efficient engines.To increase wear resistance, thermal efficiency, and minimize pollutants in theexhaust of the engine, a thermal barrier and wear resistant coating is applied to inner walls of the cylinder which replaces conventional liner.Thermal barrier Coating (TBC), a new technique used at present scenario.TBC is a thin layer of ceramic coating applied to combustion chamber components, mainlyfor piston crown, valves, cylinder cover and cylinder walls. By using this technique, the present problems could be solved to some extent.Thermal barrier coatings becoming increasingly important in providing thermalinsulation for heat engine components. Thermal insulation reduces in-cylinder heat
 
transfer from the engine combustion chamber and also components structuraltemperature. Containment of heat also contributes to increase in cylinder work and offershigher exact temperature for energy recovery. Lower component structural temperaturewill result in greater durability.The problem faced by gas turbine engineers was the failure of componentsexposed to not combustion gases. This problem was exacerbated by oxidizingcomponents of combustion gas (C0
2
and O
2
), high pressure (4 MPa) and the very highloads experienced by gas turbine blades. Common causes of failure in hot end of component even to date are creep, oxidation and thermo-mechanical fatigue.There have been three major engineering advances in dealing with problem:1.The development of the super alloys( 1950 to 1980)2.The development of air cooling system( 1960 to present)3.The development of durable thermal barrier coatings (1980 to present).The gains in gas temperatures obtained were of the order of about 200
0
c for thedevelopment of super alloys, 500
0
C
 
for air cooled system and 300
0
C
 
for thermal barrier coatings. Hence in the hot end of modem gas turbine engines most components aremade of super alloys with air cooled system and an increased number of componentsnow have thermal barrier coatings.Modem TBCs are required not only to limit the heat transfer through the coating but also to protect the engine components from oxidation and corrosion. No singlecoating composition appears to satisfy these multifunctional requirements. As a result, a"coating system" needs to be evolved. Research in the last 20 years have led to a preferred coating system, consisting of three separate layers to achieve long termeffectiveness in the high temperature, oxidative and corrosive environment in whichthey are to function.First, a thermally protective TBC layer with a low thermal conductivity isrequired to maximize thermal drop across the thickness of coating. This coating is likelyto have a thermal expansion co-efficient which differs from that of the componentmaterial. This layer should therefore have a high in-plane compliance to accommodatethe thermal expansion mismatch between the TBC and the underlying super alloy
 
component. In addition to this it should be able to retain this property and its lowthermal conductivity during prolonged environmental exposure. A porous, columnar,100-200µm thick, yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) layer is currently preferred for thisfunction.Second, an oxidation and hot corrosion resistant layer is required to protect theunderlying component from environmental degradation. This layer is required to remainrelatively stress free during long term exposure and remain adherent to the substrate toavoidThermal mismatch which mainly occurs due to improper adhesion anddifference in thermal expansion, coefficients between bond coat and cylinder material. TBCmust also withstand wear and tear. There is a need to over come these problems for employing TBC to engine cylinder as a liner. In present work an attempt has been made todevelop a TBC which is also a
 
wear resistant coating to be used in IC engine as a liner.For last 100 years, engineers have searched for the best materials for cylinder, pistons and rings. In the early years of automotive engines. the choice of materials was cast iron. Engineers used cast iron in pistons, rings and cylinders. Castiron worked fine for cylinders and rings, but pistons made of cast iron were heavy, Castiron pistons were replaced by aluminum pistons due to the lower density of thealuminum alloy. Due to the combination of cast iron cylinders and rings, aluminum pistons are still in use in most automotive engines today. In the present investigations,Aluminium-6061 (AI-606J) and Cast Iron are selected as engine cylinder materials.These are also called as substrates of TBC system developed in the present work. Bondcoating is an intermediate layer of the TBC system. It is mainly used to bond asubsequent over coat design for a particular function. The bond materials are speciallydesigned to provide optimal properties for both adherence of the top coating andintegrity of the interfacing substrate. Grading the TBC system from the bond coat to topceramic coat by incorporating one or more intermediate layers into the coating systemcan minimize ceramic metal thermal expansion coefficient. The bond coat materials areselected considering coincidence of thermal expansion coefficient values of the coatingand the relative elastic moduli, good wettability of the coating material at the surface of support during its applications, suitable chemical affinity between the two systems. In

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