Oak Ridge Tennessee, January 14, 2005 — Development of a longer-lasting spark plug for natural gas engines that could have applications for gasoline-powered automotive engines, as well, has been ongoing at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Researcher Tom King of ORNL's Metals and Ceramics Division, said the improved spark plug would be made of stronger materials than what is contained in conventional plugs.
"The process that we're going through is to characterize and understand why these spark plugs fail and then develop materials to resolve problems and extend the life of the spark plugs," King said.
This new spark plug would be more energy efficient and provide for cheaper vehicular maintenance in the long run.
"By extending the life of the spark plugs and extending the intervals for maintenance, there are tremendous opportunities for cost savings and providing overall benefits to the country," King added.
ORNL is working jointly with DOE and some of the nation's major engine companies in the development of the spark plug.
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.
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