Development of plasma spray-coated cylinders
In recent years, one of the most important issues in the automotive industry is the improvement of fuel economy started from the environmental problem. Making cars lighter and reducing the coefficient of friction are two ways to improve fuel economy. Reducing the weight of a cylinder, an engine component, is a typical example. The traditional, mainstream method to reduce cylinder weight has been to convert cast iron cylinder blocks into aluminum cylinder blocks by using cast iron sleeves. To further make engines lighter and more compact, however, it is desirable that cast iron sleeves be abolished, or, in other words, making cylinder blocks sleeveless. A typical technology to make cylinder blocks sleeveless is applying anti- wear coating on a bore wall. Electroplating is currently the mainstream method used for this technology. It must be noted, however, electroplating is used primarily for low-pressure cast cylinders.