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Old 01-28-2010, 08:55 PM   #51 (permalink)
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On a related topic Ricardo Laboratories in the UK built an experimental engine from ceramic coated steel and carbon fibre , very much along the lines used to build diesel engines powering container ships.
The combustion surfaces were ceramic coated steel and the main bearings were in a separate bedplate. A "through bolt" arrangement was used to handle the forces from combustion and expansion.
The rest of the block was carbon fibre.

The efficiencies were high mainly due to the ceramic surfaces and the engine was light weight but the costs of both development and production were multiples of times more than even the most expensive production engines built from alloy.

In essence it needed a completely new engine plant to make it all work even using as many standard production items as possible.

By the way carbon fibre is often used in aircraft jet engine compressor blades these days. They stand up to abrasion very well and can be made to flex in a controlled manner if needed.

Pete.

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