Thermal 'swing' coatings are an area of increasing interest in the automotive sector. Scientists are yet to fully understand why, but the coatings are proven to improve combustion efficiency, thereby reducing emissions. At the Vehicle Thermal Management Systems (VTMS) Conference, Keronite had the chance to showcase a new set of research showing their effectiveness.
The project, known as ATLAS (Active Thermal Layers in Automotive Systems) is an Innovate UK supported project comprising of a consortium including Keronite, Jaguar Land Rover, TATA Technologies, the University of Nottingham, Innovate UK and TWI. The project concluded in 2018, after fulfilling the primary aim of performing single cylinder engine tests with thermal swing coated pistons, comparing their performance with uncoated and anodised pistons.
Testing was performed at the University of Nottingham's Powertrain Research Group facility. After testing, it was clear that the thermal-swing properties provided by plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) provided at least a 3-5% fuel reduction potentialunder part load conditions. The full results of the experiments have been published by Keronite, which were first presented to attendees of VTMS 14 in June 2019.
Keronite is now part of the CWST engineered coatings business.
Dr. Robin Francis is a material science specialist with a M.A. and PH.D in inorganic chemistry from Oxford University. He is the Chief Technology Officer at Keronite, world leading developer of advanced surface treatments for engineering metals. Robin is a recognised expert in Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation technology, offering his insight and contribution in various engineering journals. Examples of these journals include, “thermal swing coatings for future sustainable heavy-duty IC engines” and, “the incorporation of particles suspended in the electrolyte into plasma electrolytic oxidation coatings on Ti and Al substrates.”