A comprehensive experimental investigation of low-temperature combustion with thick thermal barrier coatings
Thick thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) have a significant potential to increase thermal efficiency by reducing heat transfer losses. However, in conventional combustion modes, the drawbacks associated with charge heating and higher propensity to knock have outweighed the efficiency benefits. Since the advanced low-temperature combustion (LTC) concepts are fundamentally different from the conventional combustion modes, these penalties do not exist in most of LTCs. The current experimental study shows the feasibility and benefits of thick TBCs with advanced LTC enabled by two different fuels: conventional gasoline and wet ethanol 80 (WE80, i.e., 80% ethanol and 20% water by mass). A total of five pistons were tested, including two metal baselines and three TBCcoated pistons with different thicknesses or surface finishes. A load sweep was conducted with each fuel on each piston within the same constraints. The thick TBCs extends the low load limit by about 15% for both gasoline and WE80 cases. A deterioration of the high load limit was not observed, which implies that the charge heating penalty does not occur in LTCs. The combustion efficiency increased for the thicker TBC by up to 2% points, and the fuel conversion efficiency was increased by up to 4.3%. The gasoline cases experience the largest benefits at low load, while the wet ethanol experiences the largest benefits at mid-to-high load. The intake temperature requirement is successfully reduced by 10-15 K. It is also observed that the dense sealing layer results in a significant improvement to UHC emissions. All of the coated pistons survived the 10-20 h of engine operation with no visual failure. (c) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.