Thermal Barrier Coatings for Diesel Engines

Abstract: Reducing the heat losses in heavy-duty diesel engines is of importance for improving engine efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Depositing thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) onto engine components has been demonstrated to have great potential to reduce heat loss from the combustion chamber as well as from exhaust components. The overall aim of this thesis is to evaluate the thermal cycling lifetime and thermal insulation properties of TBCs for the purpose of reducing heat losses and thermal fatigue in heavy-duty diesel engines.In the thermal cycling test inside exhaust manifolds, nanostructured yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) performed best, followed by YSZ with conventional microstructure and then La2Zr2O7. Forsterite and mullite could not withstand the thermal cycling conditions and displayed large cracks or spallation. Two sol-gel composite coatings displayed promising thermal cycling performance results in a furnace test under similar conditions.Thermal cycling testing of YSZ coatings having different types of microstructure, in a furnace at temperatures up to 800°C, indicated that the type of microstructure exerted a great influence. For the atmospheric plasma sprayed coatings, a segmented microstructure resulted in the longest thermal cycling lifetime. An even longer lifetime was seen for a plasma spray–physical vapour deposition (PS-PVD) coating.In situ heat flux measurements inside the combustion chamber indicated that plasma-sprayed Gd2Zr2O7 was the TBC material providing the largest heat flux reduction. This is explained by a combination of low thermal conductivity and high reflectance. The plasma-sprayed YSZ and La2Zr2O7 coatings provided very small heat flux reductions. Long-term testing indicated a running-in behaviour of YSZ and Gd2Zr2O7, with a reduction in heat flux due to the growth of microcracks in YSZ and the growth of macrocracks in Gd2Zr2O7.