In this article we will try to understand basics of spark plug.
In our daily life when we have to ignite our gas stove(or any other thing) we simply use matchsticks or use a lighter.
It is easy but we should understand that
Igniting fuel is easy at many places but not everywhere.
What if we have to burn fuel inside the combustion chamber and that too, repetitively.
For example burning petrol in an engine.
We all know spark ignition (SI) engines which mainly use gasoline need external spark to burn the fuel.
It is impossible to ignite fuel in an SI engine manually. We need a device to solve this problem.
Here comes solution and that is the spark plug.
What is a spark plug?
“A spark plug is an electrical device which produces spark with the help of high voltage electricity”
Image URL: https://pixabay.com/en/spark-plug-iridium-metal-glass-2801172/, Licence: CC0 Creative Commons
In the above images you can have a clear view of spark plugs. It second you can have more clear view of spark plug tip which is downside (L shaped).
It is build with the materials which are good electrical conductors and can withstand high temperatures.
How a spark plug works?
Spark plug needs high voltage electricity for working. When this electricity is passed through it, a spark is produced. This spark is then used to burn the fuel or start the combustion process.
We can clearly see the electrodes (where the spark occurs) in the second picture (lower part which is L – shaped).
Where a spark plug is used?
Spark plugs are mainly used at the places where it is difficult to reach or where we need spark consistently.
Some of the places where it is used is engines, boilers etc.
Since working of these machines heavily depends on spark plug so it has to be reliable and durable.
Location of spark plug in SI engine
In an SI engine it is mounted either at engine’s head or at body to create adequate spark at appropriate time.
Attribution: By Zephyris – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10896588
In the above four stroke engine animation, we can easily see the spark caused by spark plug.
Due to constant working sometime carbon deposits on the spark plug. It can cause malfunction of spark plug so we may need to clean spark plug.
However other complex problems of it can not be handled by us easily, so we may need to consult an experienced mechanic or to simply replace it.