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SKODA AUTO Introduces Plasma-Coated Cylinder Blocks

Auto News - Published on Fri, 18 Sep 2020

Image Source: SKODA Plasma Coated Cylinder Blocks
SKODA AUTO has put a new processing line for plasma coating into operation. This technically innovative concept allows conventional cylinder liners to be replaced with a powder coating that measures just 150 pm. This will now be used when producing the new EVO three-cylinder engines from the EA211 series and will reduce internal friction. As a result, the 1.0 TSI EVO petrol engines will be even more efficient and boast even lower emissions. SKODA has invested a total of around 29 million euros in preparing and converting its Mlada Boleslav-based headquarters. The Czech car manufacturer has added an assembly line with two special fixtures for plasma coating at its main plant. Both of these include two torches. SKODA AUTO has invested a total of 28.8 million euros in upgrading the plant in this way; overall, the carmaker has spent 69.1 million euros on modernising engine production.

During the production process, the cylinders are first bored on the machining line. A 1,500-watt laser then abrades the cylinder bores to ensure that the plasma layer will optimally adhere to the surface. This involves the laser beam creating ten grooves per millimetre, each measuring an average depth of 40 pm. This production step takes place in a controlled atmosphere filled with nitrogen to keep tne laser's optics free from contamination and to ensure the necessary level of accuracy.

A mixture of hydrogen and argon is used to create plasma gas, requiring 4.5 liter of hydrogen per minute durinq the process. The plasma reaches a temperature of 15,000 degree Celsius and is then mixed with various types of steel that have been ground into fine powder.This powder is made up of iron, carbon, silicon and manganese as well as other necessary elements. The individual powder grains measure no more than 50 pm. When sprayed onto the cylinder walls, the molten powder forms a layer measuring approximately 250 pm. During final processing, this layer is honed out, so that it measures just 150 pm. To put all of this in perspective: the wall of a conventional cylinder liner is 4 mm thick.

Each cylinder is automatically measured at several stages throughout the process to assess its quality. Optical measuring instruments first record the surface abraded bv the laser, before a second measurement is taken once the plasma has been applied. Finally, the structure of the plasma layer is tested using turbulent flow.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Fri, 18 Sep 2020
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