1979-02-01

Ceramics in Heat Engines 790645

Recent developments of high performance ceramics have given a new impetus for the advancement of heat engines. The thermal efficiencies of the Otto, Diesel, Brayton and the Stirling cycle can now be improved by higher operating temperatures, reduced heat loss, and exhaust energy recovery. Although physical and chemical properties of the high performance ceramics have been improved significantly, they still fall short of meeting the requirements necessary for application and commercialization of advanced heat engine concepts. Aside from the need for greater strength, the problems of consistency, quality, design, material inspection, insulative properties, oxidation and other important features must be solved before high performance ceramics can be considered a viable material for advanced heat engines. Several approaches in developing an adiabatic engine design in the laboratory are shown. Other possible future improvements such as the minimum friction unlubricated engine through the use of ceramics are also described.

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