The plugs are essential devices in an internal combustion engine: are responsible for providing the spark that ignites the mixture of fuel and air , so that the car starts to work.The spark plugs are made of materials highly resistant to heat and pressure , in order to fulfill their function without melting or diminishing their performance.The outer material is a ceramic insulator. The internal material is a metal with a high melting point , that is, it remains solid even at high temperatures. It is an iron wire surrounded by a dielectric of air. Optimum electrical conductivity is ensured with these materials so that the spark plug fulfills its function.

The spark plug receives a high electrical voltage from the distributor. This allows you to release a spark at just the right time, each time the engine piston is open.

What are spark plugs for?

Spark plugs are used to spark the air-fuel mixture that is carried by the injectors to the cylinders of an internal combustion engine.

The spark plugs rest on the distributor, which is the engine component that regulates the current output to them, so that they achieve a good spark. Today, spark plugs are controlled by means of a computer.

They are synchronized inside the engine, to start when the corresponding moment of the four-stroke cycle occurs in which internal combustion engines operate:

The four strokes of an internal combustion engine are:

  • First: Intake, which is when the intake valve allows clean air to enter the piston.
  • Second: Compression, in which the plunger compresses the air admitted into the cylinder, making it occupy a small volume.
  • Third: Combustion, where the spark plug participates. A quantity of fuel is injected into the compressed air. The spark plug immediately introduces the spark, and the fuel-air mixture reacts.
  • Fourth: Expansion, which occurs as a consequence of combustion. The volume in the piston has increased, leaving the products inside, which are combustion gases and a little water vapor. These products are expelled in a new compression, through a bleed valve.

What types of spark plugs are there?

The spark plug ignites the mixture in the engine with a spark

There are several types of spark plugs:

  • Conventional iron
  • Platinum or iridium
  • Standard tip
  • Tip or drop head

Platinum-tipped plugs and iridium-tipped plugs have minimal wear compared to regular plugs, and therefore have a longer life and do not need to be changed as often.

Spark plugs are one of the main components of internal combustion engines, whether they are diesel or gasoline.

In car tuning procedures, the spark plugs must be changed because the best combustion reaction depends on them and therefore less environmental pollution due to incomplete combustion.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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