Together with his team in the laboratory of the Institute for Microwave and Plasma Technology (IMP) of FH Aachen, Prof. Dr. Holger Heuermann has developed a spark plug which is about to be introduced to the market.
It has already passed the crucial test: "We can ignite reliably and cleanly at a pressure of 40 bar," the scientist explains. This paves the way for more economical and cleaner car engines, in which a relatively "lean" fuel-air mixture is used for combustion in the cylinder.
Lean operation poses a number of challenges, especially with regard to ignition. The gas pressure is higher, and, in addition, a lean mixture is more difficult to ignite. A conventional electric spark plug cannot be used here - the wear is too great due to the increased stress.
This is where the spark plug developed by Prof. Heuermann on the basis of his plasma technology comes into play. The next step is retrofitting a car engine accordingly. However, a good ten years may still pass before its market introduction in the automotive sector.
FH Aachen I Arnd Gottschalk