Fabrication and Testing of a Silicon Carbide Piston and Cylinder for Diesel Engine
A piston and cylinder were made from silicon carbide ceramic using hot-pressing and pressureless sintering processing respectively. In order to reduce final machining to finish dimensions, “green” state (before sintering) single point machining was used.
A F165 (Φ65mm) diesel engine was used for uncooled engine rig testing silicon carbide piston and cylinder were successfully run for 380hrs Among of them about 250hrs the engine draws a water pump (2hp).
The working condition of ceramic components is rather serious and complicated due to testing without cooling and lubricant (dry friction condition), from plate-on-rotating cylinder of Sic-sic friction experiment shows that friction coefficient of Sic-Sic is about 0.6 under dry friction which is much high than wet friction condition.
It is also pointed out that control the gap between piston and cylinder is key point which is not only effect on life time of material but also on power efficiency of the engine. Several ceramic components were broken after rig engine testing. from the cross-section of fracture analyses shows the failure must be considered in the design and accuracy of assembly which is always caused local concentrating stress.
At present time, brittleness and reliability of ceramic still are main problems for engine application.
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