Spark Plug Insulations
- Helen Blair Bartlett
- Spark plug insulations
Greetings for the day to all my readers…!!!
To all female readers, I am sure you will feel proud and stimulated after reading about this magnificent lady who has made a noteworthy contribution in automotive industry.
Think of the situation where you go for a long voyage; but you have to clean the spark plug every time after you drive 60-70 kilometers. How frustrating that would be….!!!! This difficulty was faced until the invention of ceramic materials for insulators of spark plugs was done in early 1930s. Dr. Helen Blair played a vital role in invention of ceramic insulating material. It is because of her,that we enjoy a hassle free outing.
1.1 Helen Blair Bartlett:
Dr. Bartlett (1901-1969) was born in Sharpsville. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University and after acquiring a B.S. degree in geology Dr. Bartlett went to work for AC Spark Plug, where she stayed until her retirement in 1966. Being a trained geologist she had thorough knowledge of petrology and mineralogy which she used for developing insulating materials. She had set a benchmark for the women of her era by filing several patents, four of which dealt with spark plug insulators, and achieving a high technical status in General Motors.
She was also one of the few female members of the American Ceramic Society. This is yet another great woman who extended her invention to the motor vehicle world.
1.2 Spark plug insulations
Spark plug is a device installed in petrol engines and is responsible for the ignition of air fuel mixture by electric spark in the combustion chamber. Terminal, insulator, centre and ground electrodes are some of the key elements. Insulator encapsulates the centre electrode preventing it to damage from heat generated in the engine and also provide a mechanical support to the same. Earlier the insulation was made of stacked layers of mica. Lead depositions on mica became major concern with the development of leaded petrol. This reduced the cleaning interval of spark plug thus taking its toll on the efficiency of engine if not maintained frequently. Dr. Bartlett imparted her knowledge and developed sintered alumina, a material, having good mechanical strength, good thermal resistance at higher temperature.
This great invention of ceramic insulators has increased the life of spark plug and increased the duration of its maintenance. Even today 85 years after this invention, all new generation vehicles are equipped with the ceramic insulators.
Automobile industry has witnessed remarkable inventions made by women. These women has not only brought a revolution in automobile world; but has also encouraged women to come forward and extend their share of knowledge. With the development in technology and the availability of resources more women can contribute.
In spite of various challenges faced by women like Helen Blair Bartlett, Mary Anderson, Mary Walton and many others, all of them strived hard preserving their interest in this male dominated sector and improving the quality of life.