Ceramic materials as an alternative for conventional spark plug electrodes

Activity: Talk or presentation Oral presentation


Two important applications of large gas engines are to compensate peak loads and grid instabilities in the electric power supply. Conventional electrodes are expensive due to the noble metal alloys used and are increasingly reaching their limits in terms of the required operating times. Furthermore, the electrode materials used to date are often rare, and their mining is not without controversy. As an alternative ceramic materials were selected from the groups of silicides, carbides, and nitrides for preliminary experiments investigating functional as well as mechanical properties and wear behavior. Because of the harsh conditions during operation, the new materials must provide high melting temperature, good thermal shock resistance, high thermal conductivity and high corrosion/oxidation resistance as well as high density. It was found that the mechanical and thermomechanical properties of certain ceramic candidates are sufficient for an application as spark plugs electrodes. Furthermore, the chosen ceramic materials achieve an adequate performance in terms of secondary voltage trace and ignition behavior. However, wear resistance may not be sufficient for longer service times and further research is still necessary to establish ceramic electrodes as commercial alternative for this sector.
Period4 Sept 2023
Event titleFracture of Advanced Ceramics and Glasses VII: Fractograpghy, Fracture Mechanics and Fracture Testing
Event typeConference
Conference numberVII
LocationLeoben, AustriaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Sperk Plugs
  • ceramics