Research Staff Ford Motor Company


The Engine Development Directions Session begins with a paper on adiabatic diesel engine development at Ford Motor Company. Since diesels and Ford are not a combination many people would make, some background information is provided in order to put this adiabatic diesel engine research in perceptive.

On a volume basis, gasoline engines are the dominant powerplant in Ford Motor Company products. However, diesel engines are an attractive alternative in several important market segments. Based on current production, Ford ranks as one of the largest producers of diesel engines worldwide. These engines are applied over a wide variety of products. In Europe, Ford manufactures a 1.6L diesel for passenger cars, a 2.5L high speed DI diesel for light trucks, and a 6.0L diesel engine for mid-range trucks. In Brazil, Ford New Holland manufactures a 4.4L diesel for Brazilian light trucks and a new family of 6.6L and 7.8L engines for North American medium duty trucks.

It is therefore appropriate that Ford maintain an active, aggressive interest in new and emerging worldwide diesel engine technology. Currently, major thrusts in technology are directed toward meeting future legislated emission requirements and customer expectations for improved fuel economy, performance and noise control.

For research, an emerging technology, the adiabatic or low heat rejection diesel appears to offer significant benefits. These benefits include improved fuel economy, reduced or eliminated cooling system, reduced noise, reduced weight, and increased tolerance for low quality fuels.

Engine Concepts

For the past five years, several concepts for an uncooled, low heat rejection, high speed, direct injection diesel engine have been under investigation at Ford (Fig. 1). Initial concepts emphasized what is judged to be nearer term technology: thermal barrier coatings, applied to primarily cast iron combustion chamber surfaces, and solid ceramic inserts, interference fit to cast iron structures. The structural ceramic concepts are judged to be higher risk, longer term technology and emphasize solid structural ceramic components used without the cast iron engine structures.

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