Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Automotive Application, Cylinder Bores, Engine Weight Reduction, Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation, Surface Engineering, Tribology (wear, coefficient of friction and lubrication)


Nie, Xueyuan


Tjong, Jimmi




Automotive industry strives to reach an optimum level of fuel economy. This can be achieved by overcoming two impacting factors on fuel consumption: weight and friction force. This research contributes to reduce both. The proposed surface treatment can replace cylinder liners of hypoeutectic aluminum silicon alloy engine blocks with a thin layer of ceramic oxide composed of alpha and gamma phases of Al2O3 and mullite. The coatings are achieved in an aqueous electrolytic bath with current densities of 0.1 to 0.2 A/cm2. Coatings produced in silicate based solutions have shown good adaptability to the counter surface with an average 0.12 coefficient of friction. Coatings produced in phosphate and aluminate solution have shown signs of delamination, and excessive porosity and roughness respectively. Coatings produced under Bipolar Pulsed Direct Current mode has up to 12% higher hardness values compared to unipolar coatings. For each increment of 0.2 A/cm2 current density, there is a 30% of increase in coating growth rate. Higher pH values of the solution creates faster growth rate up to 1.5 μ/min. These coatings are 20% more susceptible to wear. Samples treated in MoS2 solution showed 22% lower average roughness values and 37% of reduction in coefficient of friction. Mild wear scars on the piston rings were detected for the optimized coatings.