Using Ceramics for Mass Reduction in Valve Train
Multivalve technique and high running speeds are current trend in spark ignition engines. Thus structural ceramic with their low density, good high temperature strength and wear resistance appear to offer a light-weight alternative valve material to steel and superalloys. Most obvious advantage is a reduction of moving masses, extremely accelerated in the valve train, and all the subsequent opportunities to design alterations.
Selection and testing of different materials, component design and calculations have been carried out. Performance, engine and rig test result indicate that sintered silicon nitride parts have a good chance to realize that potential of improvement. They generally could oparate satisfactoryly, if techniques of mass production and quality control proofed their reliability.
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