Spark plug reliability improvement with regard to ceramic insulator form factor

Ceramic insulators for spark plugs are important components responsible for the dielectric barrier to generate high-voltage pulses required to ignite the air–fuel mixture and for providing mechanical support to the center electrode. To ensure a high degree of reliability, many manufacturers apply corrugation patterns to the glazed upper part of an insulator to prevent flashover and parasitic discharges as well as to reduce the leakage current. The corrugation pattern design based mostly on simple cylindrical and conical shapes has changed very little over the years. This gives rise to the question whether an application of more sophisticated curves such as spherical, polynomial, or exponential can improve the surface resistance of a ribbed spark plug insulator. Quantitative analysis based on form factor and leakage distance calculations was used as a design method to optimize the shape of the spark plug insulator and its pollution performance. Furthermore, a novel concept of concave insulator corrugation patterns formed by quadratic and exponential functions was proposed and discussed as an alternative solution suitable for practical application. It was found that insulator ribs completed with supplementary concave corrugation ensure a longer leakage distance than conventional patterns. According to the results of calculations and measurements performed on three-dimensional printed samples, it was stated that the novel concave corrugation patterns can significantly increase the surface resistance of spark plug insulators.


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  • Accession Number: 01765316
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 21 2021 3:25PM