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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1604436 13.12.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001604436
Titel ZÜNDKERZE UND VERFAHREN ZU IHRER HERSTELLUNG
Anmelder Wärtsilä Finland Oy, Vaasa, FI
Erfinder LINTULA, Pekka, FI-33850 Tampere, FI;
TASKINEN, Kalevi, FI-33960 Pirkkala, FI;
LINTUNEN, Pertti, FI-33820 Tampere, FI;
SILVONEN, Aulis, FI-65230 Vaasa, FI;
LINDROOS, Tomi, FI-37560 Lempäälä, FI
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 602004009769
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 10.03.2004
EP-Aktenzeichen 047189824
WO-Anmeldetag 10.03.2004
PCT-Aktenzeichen PCT/FI2004/050025
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 2004084367
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 30.09.2004
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 14.12.2005
EP date of grant 31.10.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 13.12.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse H01T 13/20(2006.01)A, F, I, 20070515, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse H01T 13/39(2006.01)A, L, I, 20070515, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a spark plug according to the preamble of claim 1, the spark plug comprising at least two electrodes, the electrodes being formed by first part made of a substrate material, and a surface part, more durable than the substrate material, whereby the surface part is fastened to the first part via an intermediate part. The present invention also relates to a method according to claim 6 for producing a spark plug for an internal combustion engine, the spark plug having at least two electrodes.

Spark plugs are generally used in e.g. internal combustion engines for igniting the mixture of fuel and air/oxygen in the combustion chamber. This is accomplished by introducing a relatively high voltage difference between the electrodes of the spark plug, whereby a spark igniting the mixture is formed.

Currently, the development of the spark plugs of internal combustion engines is more and more based on utilizing metals and metal alloys of the Pt group (Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, Ru, Os) having a high melting point and good resistance to oxidation erosion and spark erosion. This development has been more pronounced especially with the increased service life and reliability requirements of the gas engines having pre-chambers. For example, the publications US 6078129 and JP 11-003765 disclose the use of an iridium alloy belonging to the Pt group.

It has been estimated that during ignition the surface temperature of the electrodes is in the range of 2000 - 3000 °C, so a good resistance to, for example, oxidation is required of the material. The large changes of temperature also require a high resistance against, for example, the thermal fatigue of the joints. In publication US 6078129 , a part made of iridium alloy has been fastened to the centre electrode of the spark plug by means of laser welding. Melt welding, however, produces a joint surface that is not optimal for this application. A melting zone is produced in the method, requiring a larger material thickness of the joined part. Further, brittle areas can be formed in the interface surface and it can become relatively inhomogeneous.

The electrode materials must also have a good resistance to corrosion. Resistance to corrosion and oxidation together enhance improvement of wear resistance, as wear usually occurs through spark erosion and/or oxidation wear. It is known that the service life of metals having a high melting point and belonging to the Pt group, such as iridium and platinum and their alloys, in such applications is usually sufficiently long. Especially iridium and its alloys with, for example, rhodium or rhenium, has considerably enhanced the increase of the service life of spark plugs. Rh and Re mainly increase the oxidation resistance of iridium. The construction and method of production of a spark plug is not, however, currently very preferable.

US 2391455 discloses a spark plug having a center electrode of tungsten and a side or ground electrode formed of platinum base alloy. This known solution is not resistant to corrosion and it is additionally expensive to manufacture.

The present invention relates to a spark plug for an internal combustion engine minimizing the problems of prior art. The invention especially relates to a spark plug for an internal combustion engine achieving a long service life. The invention also relates to a method of producing a spark plug for an internal combustion engine, by means of which the design of the spark plug is durable and the production process is inexpensive.

The aims of the invention are mainly achieved as disclosed in the appended claims 1 and 6 and more closely explained in other claims.

In a spark plug for an internal combustion engine having at least two electrodes the electrodes are formed of a first part, made of a substrate material, and a surface part, more durable than the substrate material and the surface part is joined to the first part by means of an intermediate part. A characterizing feature of such a spark plug is that the joint between the surface part and the intermediate part is an explosion weld joint. Thus, the depletion of the surface part into the substrate material can be minimized. Correspondingly, the joint between the substrate material and the intermediate part is preferably a conventional melt metal joint. This in turn allows the joining of the electrode to the surrounding construction, such as the body of the spark plug, to be carried out more easily and reliably than in prior art. The substrate material acting as the first part can be a part of the spark plug body, especially in the case of a ground electrode.

In an electrode according to the invention, the surface part is preferably formed of one or more of the metals of the Pt group (Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, Ru, Os) or an alloy thereof. The joint between the surface part and the intermediate part is preferably homogenous on the area of the whole joint surface, whereby it is also strong.

Preferably, in an electrode according to the invention the thickness of material of the surface part perpendicular to the surface of the joint between the surface of the electrode and the intermediate part is 0.05 - 2 mm.

According to the invention, the method for producing a spark plug according to claim 1 having at least two electrodes, in which spark plug the electrodes are produced from a first part, made of the substrate material of the spark plug, and a surface part, made of a material more durable than the first material characterised by the following combination of production stages, in which

  • a blank is formed, comprising a surface part and an intermediate part, by joining the surface part to the intermediate part by means of explosion welding,
  • a part with a suitable form is separated from the blank to form the electrode of the spark plug, and
  • the part separated from the blank is fastened to the first part of the spark plug so that the joint is made between the said first part and the intermediate part.

According to one embodiment the surface portion of the blank is preferably formed of a planar piece consisting of one or more metals of the Pt group or an alloy thereof, the piece being explosion welded to the equally planar intermediate part.

According to another embodiment the surface portion of the blank is preferably formed of a powder consisting of one or more metals of the Pt group or an alloy thereof, the powder being simultaneously solidified and joined to the intermediate part by means of explosion welding.

The invention accomplishes a number of advantages which are disclosed in, for example, the following description of drawings. A factor having an especial effect on the good quality of the final product is that the used joining method does not affect the microstructure, integrity or geometry of the actual electrode surface, because the intermediate part allows the surface of the joint to the substrate material to be far enough from the surface part.

In the following the invention is described by way of example and with reference to the appended drawings, of which

  • figure 1 is a schematical representation of a spark plug according to the invention,
  • figure 2 is a spark plug of figure 1 seen from above, and
  • figure 3 shows the principle of the method according to the invention.

The spark plug 1 shown in figures 1 and 2 comprises three electrodes 2.1, 2.2 of which two are so-called ground electrodes 2.2 and one a so-called center electrode 2.1. The operation of the spark plug is known as such and is not described here as not belonging to the invention. In the spark plug the center electrode 2.1 is supported to the body 3 of the spark plug by means of a separate insulation 4. According to the invention the spark plug consists of a first part 5 made of a substrate material, the first part possibly being a part of the body 3 of the spark plug. Further, the electrode consists of a surface part 7, more durable than the substrate material, the surface part being joined to the first part of the spark plug via an intermediate part 6 which is also a part of an electrode 2.1,2.2. In the invention, the surface part 7, which preferably is a metal or metal alloy of the Pt group, is joined as a thin film first to the more conventional and easier material, such as a heat-resistant steel or a super alloy, such as an Ni-based super alloy. With the reference to schematic figure 3, according to the invention the joining technology is such that the joint surface 10 is essentially homogenous. The joining method is explosion welding. The spark plug body as such, is manufactured in conventional manner, made of substrate material. According to the invention a planar blank 8 is formed by joining the surface part 7 to the intermediate part 6 making use of explosion welding. The blank may be e.g. a considerably big plate, from which a part 9 having a suitable form is separated. The part 9 consists of the surface part 7 and intermediate part 6. The part 9 is fastened to the spark plug body i.e. the first part 5 so that the joint is made between the first part 5 and the intermediate part 6.

Explosion welding produces a lot of advantages for the production of the electrode and for properties during use.

  • There is no melt zone within the joint, whereby the depletion of the expensive metal of the Pt group into the substrate can be minimized, whereby also the said metal film can be thin.
  • Because of the above considerable cost savings can be achieved.
  • There are no brittle phases formed in the transformation zone near the interface surface between the Pt group metal film and the substrate material
  • The possibility of getting a very strong, slightly wavy joint surface.
  • Solid, homogenous and smooth joint surface, no separate beads.
  • The use of melt welding, causing the above-mentioned problems, can be avoided.

It is possible to use explosion welding for producing a two- or multi-layer plate, i.e. blank 8, from which parts 9 of suitable size or ready electrodes are separated, for example by means of laser cutting, water jet cutting or spark machining, to be further attached to the spark plug 1. These are attached to form, for example, a ground electrode to the first part 5 of the electrode 2.1, 2.2 in connection with the body 3 of the spark plug.

The attaching can be accomplished by using conventional means, such as laser welding, electron welding or friction welding. Soldering can also be used as an attachment means.

Typically, hundreds of electrodes can be produced from an explosion welded blank 8. Usually, the explosion welded surface does not need post-machining or grinding. Further, any heat treatment of the electrode blanks can be easily and inexpensively accomplished as the pieces are separate and compact in size. The gap is adjusted as necessary when the electrodes are fastened.

The invention is not limited to the embodiments described here, but a number of modifications thereof can be conceived of within the scope of the appended claims.


Anspruch[de]
Zündkerze (1) für eine Brennkraftmaschine mit mindestens zwei Elektroden, bei der die Elektroden (2.1, 2.2) aus einem ersten Teil (5), der aus einem Substratmaterial gefertigt ist, und einem Oberflächenteil (7) gebildet sind, der aus einem widerstandsfähigeren Material als das Substratmaterial gefertigt ist, wobei dieser an dem ersten Teil über ein Zwischenteil (6) befestigt ist,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verbindung zwischen dem Oberflächenteil (7) und dem Zwischenteil (6) eine explosionsgeschweißte Verbindung ist.
Zündkerze (1) für eine Brennkraftmaschine gemäß Anspruch 1,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Oberflächenteil (7) aus mindestens einem Metall der Pt-Gruppe (Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, Ru, Os) oder einer Legierung hieraus gebildet ist.
Zündkerze (1) für eine Brennkraftmaschine gemäß Anspruch 1 oder 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verbindung zwischen dem Oberflächenteil (7) und dem Zwischenteil (6) im Wesentlichen auf dem gesamten Oberflächenbereich (10) der Verbindung homogen ist. Zündkerze (1) für eine Brennkraftmaschine nach Anspruch 3,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verbindung zwischen dem Substratmaterial-Teil des ersten Teils (5) und dem Zwischenteil (6) eine herkömmliche Schmelz-Schweißverbindung ist.
Zündkerze nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Materialdicke des Oberflächenteils (7) senkrecht zur Verbindungsfläche (10) zu dieser und dem Zwischenteil (6) 0,05 - 2 mm beträgt.
Verfahren zum Herstellen einer Zündkerze (1) gemäß Anspruch 1 mit mindestens zwei Elektroden (2.1, 2.2), bei welcher Zündkerze die Elektroden aus zumindest einem ersten Teil (5), das aus einem Substratmaterial der Zündkerze gefertigt ist, und einem Oberflächenteil (7) hergestellt ist, das aus einem widerstandsfähigeren Material als das Substratmaterial gefertigt ist,

gekennzeichnet durch die Kombination der folgenden Produktionsphasen, in denen - ein Rohling (8) gebildet wird, der ein Oberflächenteil (7) und ein Zwischenteil (6) aufweist, wobei der Oberflächenteil an dem Zwischenteil mittels einem Explosions-Schweißverfahren festgelegt wird, - ein Teil (9) mit geeigneter Form aus dem Rohling separiert wird, um die Elektrode der Zündkerze zu bilden, und - der von dem Rohling separierte Teil (9) an dem ersten Teil (5) der Zündkerze befestigt wird, so dass eine Verbindung zwischen dem besagten ersten Teil (5) und dem Zwischenteil (6) hergestellt wird.
Verfahren nach Anspruch 6,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Oberflächenteil (7) des Rohlings (8) aus einem planaren Stück gebildet wird, das aus mindestens einem Metall der Pt-Gruppe oder einer Legierung hieraus besteht, wobei das Stück mittels Explosionsschweißverfahren an dem Zwischenstück festgelegt wird, ebenso planar.
Verfahren nach Anspruch 7,

dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Oberflächenteil (7) des Rohlings (8) aus Pulver gebildet ist, das aus mindestens einem Metall der Pt-Gruppe oder einer Legierung hieraus besteht, wobei das Pulver gleichzeitig verfestigt und mit dem Zwischenstück mittels Explosionsschweißens verbunden wird.
Anspruch[en]
A spark plug (1) for an internal combustion engine having at least two electrodes, in which the electrodes (2.1, 2.2) are formed of a first part (5) made of a substrate material and a surface part (7) made of a material more durable than the substrate material is fastened to the first part via an intermediate part (6), characterized in that the joint between the surface part (7) and the intermediate part (6) is an explosion welding joint. A spark plug (1) for an internal combustion engine according to claim 1, characterized in that the surface part (7) is formed of at least one metal of the Pt group (Pt, Pd, lr, Rh, Ru, Os) or an alloy thereof. A spark plug (1) for an internal combustion engine according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the joint between the surface part (7) and the intermediate part (6) is essentially homogenous on the whole surface area (10) of the of the joint. A spark plug (1) for an internal combustion engine according to claim 3, characterized in that the joint between the substrate material part of the first part (5) and the intermediate part (6) is a conventional melt welding joint. A spark plug according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the material strength of the surface part (7) perpendicular to the joint surface (10) of it and the intermediate part (6) is 0.05 - 2 mm. A method for producing a spark plug (1) according to claim 1 having at least two electrodes (2.1, 2.2), in which spark plug the electrodes are produced from at least a first part (5), made of the substrate material of the spark plug, and a surface part (7), made of a material more durable than the substrate material, characterized by the following combination of production stages, in which - a blank (8) is formed, comprising a surface part (7) and an intermediate part (6), by joining the surface part to the intermediate part by means of explosion welding, - a part (9) with a suitable form is separated from the blank to form the electrode of the spark plug, and - the part (9) separated from the blank is fastened to the first part (5) of the spark plug so that the joint is made between the said first part (5) and the intermediate part (6). A method according to claim 6, characterized in that the surface part (7) of the blank (8) is formed of a planar piece consisting of at least one metal of the Pt group or an alloy thereof, the piece being explosion welded to the intermediate piece, also planar. A method according to claim 7, characterized in that the surface part (7) of the blank (8) is formed of powder consisting of at least one metal of the Pt group or an alloy thereof, the powder being simultaneously solidified and joined to the intermediate piece by means of explosion welding.
Anspruch[fr]
Bougie d'allumage (1) pour un moteur à combustion interne ayant au moins deux électrodes, dans laquelle les électrodes (2.1, 2.2) sont constitués d'une première partie (5) faite dans un matériau de base et d'une partie surface (7) faite dans un matériau plus durable que le matériau de base et fixée à la première partie via une partie intermédiaire (6), caractérisé en ce que la jointure entre la partie surface (7) et la partie intermédiaire (6) est un joint de soudage par explosion. Bougie d'allumage (1) pour un moteur à combustion interne selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que la partie surface (7) est constituée au moins d'un des métaux du groupe Pt (Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, Ru, Os) ou d'un alliage de ceux-là. Bougie d'allumage (1) pour un moteur à combustion interne selon la revendication 1 ou 2, caractérisé en ce que le joint entre la partie surface (7) et la partie intermédiaire (6) est essentiellement homogène sur l'ensemble de la surface (10) du joint. Bougie d'allumage (1) pour un moteur à combustion interne selon la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce que le joint entre la partie en matériau de base de la première partie (5) et la partie intermédiaire (6) est un joint à soudure conventionnelle par fusion. Bougie d'allumage selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que la résistance des matériaux de la partie surface (7) perpendiculaire à la surface de joint (10) de celle-ci et la partie intermédiaire (6) est de 0.05 à 2 mm. Procédé pour la production d'une bougie d'allumage (1) selon la revendication 1 ayant au moins deux électrodes (2.1, 2.2), dans laquelle bougie d'allumage les électrodes sont fabriqués au moins d'une première partie (5), faite dans le matériau de base de la bougie d'allumage, et d'une partie surface (7), faite dans un matériau plus durable que le matériau de base, caractérisé par la combinaison suivante de phases de production, dans laquelle - un flan (8) est formé, comprenant une partie surface (7) et une partie intermédiaire (6), en joignant la partie surface à la partie intermédiaire u moyens de soudage par explosion, - une partie (9) avec une forme adaptée est séparée du flan pour former l'électrode de la bougie d'allumage, et - la partie (9) séparée du flan est fixée à la première partie (5) de la bougie d'allumage de sorte que le joint est réalisée entre ladite première partie (5) et la partie intermédiaire (6). Procédé selon la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que la partie surface (7) du flan (8) est formée d'une pièce planaire constituée au moins d'un métal du groupe Pt ou d'un alliage de ceux-là, la pièce étant soudé par explosion à la pièce intermédiaire, également planaire. Procédé selon la revendication 7, caractérisé en ce que la partie surface (7) du flan (8) est formée de poudre constituée au moins d'un métal du groupe Pt ou d'un alliage de ceux-là, la poudre étant solidifiée ou jointe simultanément à la pièce intermédiaire au moyen de soudage par explosion.






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