Combustion Chamber Thermal Coating
Coatings are an exciting materials technology that is reshaping the way engineers think about some of the basic engineering. If you look around, coatings are everywhere. Coatings can be found everywhere from drill bits to NASA.
To understand just why these coatings work, you have to look at an engine from a thermodynamic point of view. The cams, valves, pistons, rods, crank and all the other parts of an engine are simply there to convert the heat energy of combustion into rotational force, to move the car forward. The job of an engine’s cooling systems, be they air, oil, water, or a combination, is to remove enough heat so that the engine parts do not self destruct. On one hand we are creating heat to use it for energy, and on the other hand we are working hard to remove that heat. If that doesn’t sound too efficient, you’re right!
The typical internal combustion engine manages to convert a mere 25% of the fuel’s energy into useful work at the crankshaft. Where does the rest of the energy go? A large portion, about 35% goes right out the tail pipe. Another big chunk of energy goes out the cooling fluids in a car, such as coolant and oil. The approximately 20% of power lost in cooling is nearly equal to the net power produced. Part of this is simply heat from combustion, and a smaller part is frictional heat from the engine’s rotating parts. The remaining 20% of power is lost to radiated heat, from the exhaust system, crankcase and coolant jacket and pipes.