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Since becoming part of ARL in 1992, VTC has assumed a basic research mission in support of technology for advanced diesel engines applicable to heavy combat vehicles. This research focuses on two areas: 1) tribology for in-cylinder application, as well as main engine journal bearings; 2) low heat rejection ceramic coatings for piston crowns and cylinder heads. Both of these research areas address fundamental barriers to the development of compact, efficient, light weight, high power density diesel engines. The work is closely coordinated with exploratory and advanced development activities underway at the Tank and Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan, as well as with Department of Energy sponsored activities conducted at Lewis Research Center. The tribology work is focused on the development of advanced concept tribo-material pairs for the cylinder liner/piston ring interface. Future diesel engines will run at much higher temperatures and speeds than those presently in operation, and available tribo-material pairs will not have sufficient life. Also, the engine journal bearing load capacities will have to be increased in order to realize compact engine designs. This will necessitate the development of validated analytical tools that can predict the bearing lubrication regime under severe operating conditions in which cavitation, structural deflections and thermal distortions become concerns.
Achieving low heat rejection is one of the keys to improved engine efficiency, and application of low conductivity ceramic coatings to the hot engine parts is the most effective way of realizing low heat rejection. Research underway is addressing advanced ceramic coating chemistries and application techniques. Special evaluation procedures have been developed to assess the durability of these coatings under the severe thermal environment to which they are exposed.
POC: Dr. Mark J. Valco
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Updated: March 12, 2004