Experimental assessment of new insulation coatings for lean burn spark-ignited engines
1 IFP Energies nouvelles, 1 et 4 avenue de Bois-Préau, 92852 Rueil-Malmaison, France ; Institut Carnot IFPEN Transports Energie
2 IFP Energies nouvelles, Rond-Point de l’Échangeur de Solaize, BP 3, 69360 Solaize, France ; Institut Carnot IFPEN Transports Energie
3 Saint-Gobain Research Provence, 550 Avenue Alphonse Jauffret, 84306 Cavaillon, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 January 2020
Clean and highly efficient internal combustion engines will still be necessary in the future to meet the ambitious CO2 emissions reduction targets set for light-duty vehicles. The maximal efficiency of stoichiometric Spark-Ignited (SI) gasoline engines has been steadily increasing in recent years but remains limited by the important relative share of cooling losses. Low heat rejection engines using ceramic barrier coatings have been presented in the past but smart insulation coatings are gaining a renewed interest as a more promising way to further increase the engine maximal thermal efficiency. This article is highlighting some important effects of smart insulation coatings developed for lean-burn spark-ignited gasoline engines. Five different coatings with low heat conductivity and capacity are applied on aluminum engine parts with the atmospheric plasma spray technique and are tested with two different engines. The laser induced phosphorescence technique is firstly used in an optical single cylinder engine to quantify the thermal performance of these coatings in terms of temperature swing during combustion. A maximal increase in the piston surface temperature of around 100 °C is measured at low load, confirming thus the expected impact of the low heat conductivity and capacity, and suggesting thus a positive impact on fuel consumption. Thanks to the tests performed with a similar metal single cylinder engine, it is shown that the unburned hydrocarbon emissions can significantly increase by up to 25% if the open porosity on top of the coating is not properly sealed, while the surface roughness has no impact on these emissions. When applied on both the piston and the cylinder head, the optimized coating displays some distinct effects on the maximal heat release rate and NOx emissions, indicating that the thermal environment inside the combustion chamber is modified during combustion. Thanks to the temperature swing between cold and hot engine phases the volumetric efficiency can also be kept constant. However, no increase in efficiency can be measured with this optimized coating which suggests that the heat balance is not affected only by the reduction in the temperature differential between the walls and the gas.
© J. Chérel et al., published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.