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Characterisation of Thermal Barrier Coating on Piston Crown for Compressed Natural Gas Direct Injection (CNGDI) Engines

A.J. Helmisyah, M.J. Ghazali, S. Abdullah


The high temperature and pressure produced in an engine that uses compressed natural gas with direct injection system (CNGDI) may lead to high thermal stresses. The piston crown fails to operate effectively with insufficient heat transfer. In this study, partially stabilized zirconia (PSZ) ceramic thermal barrier coatings were plasma sprayed on CNGDI piston crowns (AC8A aluminium alloys) to reduce thermal stresses. Several samples were deposited with NiCrAl bonding layers prior to the coating of PSZ for comparison purposes. Detailed analyses of microstructure, hardness, surface roughness, and interface bonding on the deposited coating were conducted to ensure its quality. High stresses were mainly concentrated above the pinhole and edge areas of the piston. In short, the PSZ/ NiCrAl coated alloys demonstrated lesser thermal stresses than the uncoated piston crowns despite a rough surface. Extra protection is thus given during combustion operation.


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