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Home > News > New developments in laser spark plugs, 24th April 2011

laser spark plug

Working together, Japanese and Romanian scientists have developed a laser that they say could replace the spark plugs in an internal combustion engine.

The idea of lasers replacing spark plugs is nothing new. However previously the technology required was to big and unwieldy for use in a vehicle, and also the unit housing the laser wasn't able to adequately cope with the heat generated inside the combustion chamber.

The team's new system also offers not one, but three laser beams. The beams are focused within the combustion chamber at different depths. This has the benefit of increasing the ignition area of the fuel/air mix for a more complete burn, and also it cleverly avoids the issue of degradation with time.

The new laser spark plug design overcomes the obstacle of immense heat - which had hampered previous laser spark plug projects - by using ceramic powders compressed into the spark plug body to form the laser, instead of the delicate crystals previously used.

The team are currently in talks with the automotive parts manufacturer Denso, over how to bring what is at the moment a laboratory project, to the commercial market.

Source: BBC

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