Lubrication of Ceramics in Ring/Cylinder Applications
In support of efforts to apply ceramics to advanced heat engines, a study was performed of the wear mechanisms of ceramics at the ring/cylinder interface. A laboratory apparatus was constructed to reproduce most of the conditions of an actual engine, but used easily prepared ring and cylinder specimens to facilitate their fabrication. Plasma-sprayed coatings of Cr2O3 and hypersonic flame-sprayed coatings of cobalt-bonded WC performed particularly well as ring coatings. Similar performance was obtained with these coatings operating against SiC, Si3N4, SiC whisker-reinforced Al2O3, and Cr2O3 coatings. The study demonstrated the critical need for lubrication and evaluated the performance of two available lubricants. SIGNIFICANT EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS have been predicted resulting from the practical application of low-heat-rejection engines (1,2).