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Enhancement of reliability and reduction of emissions in automotive combustion engines


Objectives and content
Some important factors governing actual automotive engine
technology development are the improvement of engine
reliability and environmental protection. A way in which
vehicle engineers address these targets is the
optimisation of engine efficiency by improving combustion
and reducing mechanical losses. Improved mechanical
performance and service life can be achieved by a
reduction of friction losses of moving components in a
vehicle engine. Thus, tribology as well as an
appropriate design of these components will play an
important role in engine performance.
The application of improved coatings has a great
potential to further lower frictional losses in moving
components and improve engine efficiency. A new
generation of self-lubricant coatings (i.e. diamond-likecarbon or molybdenum disulphide coatings and combinations
thereof) on sliding surfaces on an engine, in particular
the piston ring - cylinder tribosystem, can bring
substantial improvements in engine reliability and
reduction of exhaust emissions in the two-stroke and
four-stroke combustion engines.
The key objective of this programme will be the
achievement of a high performance, long working life and
a low contaminating engine. Some important industrial
objectives to be met in this project are to improve of
the operation life of a car engine by 25 % and a
motorcycle engine by 50 %. A parallel reduction in
exhaust emissions (e.g. black smoke, (C-H)x, CO, NOX) in
car and motorbike engines is moreover expected. In
particular, a reduction of oil pollutant emissions of
motorbike engines by 60 % is aimed by decreasing the oil
addition in the fuel mixture from 1.5 to 0.3 %. These
objectives can be effectively met, first, by improving
the actual design of motorbike engine components to
maintain the optimum combustion performance during an
extended operation life of say 30,000 km. Second, by the
correct application of improved self-lubricant coatings
(e.g. DLC, MoS2,.) in moving components of combustion
engines (e.g. piston rings, cylinder liners).
The present programme combines the knowledge and research
effort from two clear distinctive sides, the "engine
side" and the "coating side". The "engine side" will be
responsible for the testing and implementation of new
products in new engine prototypes, involving structural
re-design of components and the application of developed
coatings. Tribological behaviour of components as well
as constant monitoring of engine performance and
combustion emissions will be of paramount importance.
The "coating side" will be responsible for the
implementation of a high performance and reliable
deposition process for engine components. To achieve
this a research procedure will be set up involving
Design, up-grading and manufacturing new deposition
Equipment suitable for the project. New and deposition
processes will be implemented and tribological research
and modelling of the coating to achieve the best
performance of coated structures will be central to this
programme. The deposition technologies involved are
Plasma CVD, an improved Magnetron Sputtering PVD
technology and hybrid technologies to be able to produce
tailored coatings for this application.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Nacional Motor SA
19,Calle Barcelona
08102 Martorelles

Participants (6)

Strada Torino 50
10043 Orbassano
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Ecoles Des Mines
54042 Nancy
Fundación INASMET Asociación de Investigación Metalúrgica del País Vasco
12,Camino De Potuetxe
20009 San Sebastian
United Kingdom
4,Wavetree Boulevard South 4-D, Wavetree Technology
L7 9PF Liverpool
102,Rue Henri Giffard
87280 Limoges
Sealed Power Europe S.L.
16,Calle Tarragona
08800 Vilanova I La Geltru - Barcelona