Performance of a Printed Bimetallic (Stainless Steel and Bronze) Engine Head Operating under Stoichiometric and Lean Spark Ignited (SI) Combustion of Natural Gas
Additive manufacturing was used to fabricate a head for an automotive-scale single-cylinder engine operating on natural gas. The head was consisted of a bimetallic composition of stainless steel and bronze. The engine performance using the bimetallic head was compared against the stock cast iron head. The heads were tested at two speeds (1200 and 1800 rpm), two brake mean effective pressures (6 and 10 bar), and two equivalence ratios (0.7 and 1.0). The bimetallic head showed good durability over the test and produced equivalent efficiencies, exhaust temperatures, and heat rejection to the coolant to the stock head. Higher combustion temperatures and advanced combustion phasing resulted from use with the bimetallic head. The implication is that with optimization of the valve timing, an efficiency benefit may be realized with the bimetallic head.