Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Benjamin Lawler

Committee Member

Zoran Filipi

Committee Member

Brian Gainey


The application of thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) has been studied in homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI), conventional diesel combustion (CDC), and spark ignition (SI). Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) combines the low soot and NOx emissions of HCCI with combustion controllability through fuel stratification. GCI has become an interesting prospect due to the reduction in gasoline consumption due to the electrification and hybridization of the light-duty sector. It can be used as a preferred combustion mode in heavy-duty engines to reduce emissions with minimal modifications. GCI exhibits better combustion efficiency than HCCI. Advances in material technology have combined low thermal conductivity and low heat capacity to create a temperature swing TBC coating with low thermal inertia, allowing it to change temperature rapidly with a change in bulk temperatures to avoid charge heating. This thesis evaluates the performance of low thermal inertia coatings in GCI with an experimental study. Experiments were conducted at three loads: 6, 10 and 15 bar IMEPn. Two pistons were tested: a metal baseline piston and a proprietary TBC-coated piston. At 6 and 10 bar, two starts of injection sweeps in GCI were performed. The start of the first injection was varied in one sweep, and the start of the second injection was varied in the second sweep. A sweep was performed at 15 bar, where the equivalence ratio was changed. At 6 bar IMEPn, the TBC-coated piston increased net fuel conversion and thermal efficiency. The TBC-coated piston exhibited no advantage at 10 and 15 bar IMEPn.



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