Engine designers are always looking for alternative ways to reduce costs and emissions and improve fuel economy and performance. One way to improve car design is through material replacement. Ceramics can be used as the technology for many key components of future engines because of their unique heat resistance, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, light weight and electrical insulation and thermal insulation properties.
Ceramics have played an important role in automobiles from the beginning, mainly used for spark plug insulators and glass windows. Almost all catalytic converters in modern automobiles have ceramic honeycomb carriers for catalysts, which is very useful in reducing automobile exhaust emissions. Most modern cars also use ceramic oxygen sensors with computer control to optimize combustion and reduce exhaust emissions.
Computer controls and other electronic equipment in automobiles use a large number of ceramic substrates and are critical to the performance of the device. In addition, many motors are used in modern automobiles to automatically adjust seat windows, etc., and ceramic magnets are used in many of these motors. Ceramic components have also been incorporated into the fuel systems and valve systems of heavy-duty diesel engines.
In the future, automobiles may use ceramics in internal engine structural parts, and in wear-resistant applications of fuel systems, accessory parts in valve trains, such as valves and valve seats. In the future, ceramic fuel cells can also be used in driverless cars.