Ceramic engines continue to constitute an area of considerable interest and are frequently discussed in the popular literature. If perfected, they would allow higher operating temperatures with a companion increase in engine efficiency. In addition, they would lower sliding friction and permit the elimination of radiators, fan belts, cooling system pumps, coolant lines, and coolant. The net result would be reduced weight and a more compact design. Estimated fuel savings could amount to 30% or more.
a. What are the primary limitations to the successful manufacture of such a product?
b. What types of ceramic materials would you consider to be appropriate?
c. What methods of fabrication could produce a product of the required size and shape?
d. What types of special material properties or special processing might be required?
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