NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (Aichi, JP)
A technique to increase the resistance to corrosion of spark plugs. A spark plug that has an outer shell of metal and a nickel-plated coating on its outside. This protective film acts as a protection. The nickel-plated layer has a structure designed to be able to absorb chemical concentrations of the constituent elements are measured in a depth direction by an X-ray photoelectron-spectroscopy (XPS) the amount of carbon atoms ranges from 1.0 10% to 10.0% at a depth where the atomic density of Ni elements is about 80%.
A spark plug used for an ignition of internal combustion engines like a gasoline engine, includes an electrode with a shaft shape and a cylindrical insulator that holds the center electrode on the inner side thereof and a shell of metal that holds the insulator to the inner side thereof. The metal shell contains an L-shaped ground electrode which creates spark discharge gaps between center electrode and ground electrode. The ground electrode and the metal shell are usually made of iron-based materials, such as carbon and steel. The outer surfaces of the metal shell are treated with a plating treatment to avoid corrosion (See Japanese Document No. JP-A-2002-184552).
However, the metal shell includes regions, like an inner wall surface of a hole that is cylindrical in which the insulator is held and concave parts of the outer surface, that make it difficult for an electric current to flow in the plating bath. In addition, there is a possibility that the thickness of a plated layer to be formed becomes uniform. If the thickness of the layer is non-uniform, it may happen that a stress concentration occurs within a portion of the plated layer which is relatively small in its thickness during the process of crimping the shell, or any other similar process and accelerating the peeling off of the plating layer. It is an actual situation that there is no ingenuity been exercised so far in stopping the peeling away of the plated layer in order to make the thickness uniform and improving the corrosion resistance of the spark plug.
The invention has the aim of providing a method of making it more resistant to corrosion a spark plug.
The invention, having been contrived in order to address at least a portion of the heretofore described problem is able to be implemented in the following features or examples.
This invention is conceivable in various ways. It could be implemented as a fuel cells, a fuel system including the fuel cells, a vehicle that has the fuel system installed, or any other form.
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