Robust engine operation with long maintenance intervals and low emissions is the key to meeting future engine requirements. At the same time, engines should be environmentally friendly, resource-friendly, and cost-effective to produce and operate.

To meet these market requirements, a central component in engine development is the ignition system and in particular the spark plug.

To increase the maintenance intervals of internal combustion engines, it is necessary to increase spark plug lifetime by reducing spark plug wear. The electrode materials used to date are often expensive and rare, and their mining is not without controversy.

Successful use of alternative spark plug electrode materials which are available in large quantities, inexpensive, and more resistant to wear than existing materials with similar ignition behavior would advance engine development so it can meet further economic and environmental requirements.

To this end, ceramic spark plug electrodes were investigated to determine their spark and ignition behavior as well as their wear. These materials seem to be an interesting alternative to existing spark plug electrode materials.

This paper presents a spark plug with ceramic spark plug electrodes that achieves conditions similar to those of standard spark plugs in terms of secondary voltage trace and ignition behavior. Furthermore, it introduces a sophisticated method for scientific, cost-effective, and application-oriented development.

Finally, it provides a promising outlook for the ignition behavior and combustion performance of engines with this spark plug.

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