Advanced Technical Ceramics in the Auto Industry
Durable and versatile technical ceramics are used as sensors in auto industry components.
The auto industry has become an ideal research laboratory and marketplace for technological progress in advanced technical ceramics. Such ceramic components are vital for improving and maintaining safety in vehicles as well as making them more comfortable and cost-effective.Technical ceramics are used as sensors within the electronic controls of vehicles and are the conduits for providing information on how a vehicle’s engine operates during changes of position and direction. In distance sensors, discs made of piezo ceramics are capable of emitting short ultrasonic waves towards an object whose distance from the vehicle is being measured. These waves are reflected by the targeted object and directed back to the same piezo ceramic. This ceramic component is capable of acting as both a transmitter of the ultrasonic waves and as a receiver. It is capable of measuring distances ranging from a quarter of a metre to ten metres.
Such sensors are used widely in large trucks to detect the precise distance to a loading ramp or specific parking place.
Piezo ceramic sensors can also measure a vehicle’s acceleration. The component transforms fluctuations in the dynamic pressure impacting on its surface into electrical signals. These in turn are processed by the vehicle’s controls, which can react to this information to manage the vehicle’s safety system, control the motor and even set off airbags when necessary.
Such advanced ceramics are also used in engines as heat-resistant components in waves and crankshaft housing backings and in fuel and water pumps. They act to improve the whole component’s efficiency, reduce the wear and tear of all engine components and cut down on generated engine noise.
Knock sensors are made of piezo ceramic rings and are attached to an engine block using contact electrodes. Vibrations in the vehicle engine impact on the knock sensor, which in turn generates electrical signals whose frequency range is proportional to the vibrational frequency range. If an engine “knocks” because of fuel octane levels or some change in circumstances, the signal can be transmitted to the controls and ignition or other processes can be readjusted.
Composite materials that combine metals and technical ceramics have opened up an exciting new world of improvements in lightweight vehicle design. Modern LED, xenon and halogen light systems are backed by ceramic components and are able to produce significant improvements.
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