When used in highly stressed mechanical engineering applications, metallic materials often reach their limits, especially when the components are subject to tribological and mechanical stress as well as additional thermal stress. This leads to high wear of the metallic components and short service lives. In such highly stressed applications, ceramic materials have great potential due to some properties superior to metallic materials, such as wear and thermal resistance. However, there are also some challenges in using engineering ceramics, such as high brittleness, low fracture toughness, or strength scatter. Due to these factors, as well as the low level of practical experience and the lack of general design specifications, ceramics are often not considered as a design material despite their positive properties. At the Institute of Product Development and Design Engineering, the Stirling engine has been identified as a highly stressed application with a high potential for the use of engineering ceramics.
The aim of the research project is to investigate assemblies made of technical ceramics under combined load, as occurs in a Stirling engine, on a suitable test rig. To this end, various design solutions are to be developed and investigated. This will demonstrate the potential of technical ceramics in terms of service life and efficiency using the example of the Stirling engine.