Near-Frictionless Carbon Coatings for Use in Fuel Injectors and Pump Systems Operating with Low-Sulfur Diesel Fuels



SAE 2000 World Congress
Authors Abstract
While sulfur in diesel fuels helps reduce friction and prevents wear and galling in fuel pump and injector systems, it also creates environmental pollution in the form of hazardous particulates and SO2 emissions. The environmental concern is the driving force behind industry's efforts to come up with new alternative approaches to this problem. One such approach is to replace sulfur in diesel fuels with other chemicals that would maintain the antifriction and antiwear properties provided by sulfur in diesel fuels while at the same time reducing particulate emissions. A second alternative might be to surface-treat fuel injection parts (i.e., nitriding, carburizing, or coating the surfaces) to reduce or eliminate failures associated with the use of low-sulfur diesel fuels.
Our research explores the potential usefulness of a near-frictionless carbon (NFC) film developed at Argonne National Laboratory in alleviating the aforementioned problems. The lubricity of various diesel fuels (i.e., high-sulfur, 500 ppm; low sulfur, 140 ppm; ultra-clean, 3 ppm; and synthetic diesel or Fischer-Tropsch, zero sulfur) were tested by using both uncoated and NFC-coated 52100 steel specimens in a ball-on-three-disks and a high-frequency reciprocating wear-test rig. The test program was expanded to include some gasoline fuels as well (i.e., regular gasoline and indolene) to further substantiate the usefulness of the NFC coatings in low-sulfur gasoline environments. The results showed that the NFC coating was extremely effective in reducing wear and providing lubricity in low-sulfur or sulfur-free diesel and gasoline fuels. Specifically, depending on the wear test rig, test pair, and test media, the NFC films were able to reduce wear rates of balls and flats by factors of 8 to 83. These remarkable reductions in wear rates raise the prospect for using the ultra slick carbon coatings to alleviate problems that will be caused by the use of low sulfur diesel and gasoline fuels. Surfaces of the wear scars and tracks were characterized by optical and scanning electron microscopy, and by Raman spectroscopy.
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Erdemir, A., Ozturk, O., Alzoubi, M., Woodford, J. et al., "Near-Frictionless Carbon Coatings for Use in Fuel Injectors and Pump Systems Operating with Low-Sulfur Diesel Fuels," SAE Technical Paper 2000-01-0518, 2000,
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Mar 6, 2000
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Technical Paper