The development of advanced engine designs with higher performance levels, but with lower environmental impact, will require the use of smarter, easy to use temperature profiling techniques for stationary and dynamic applications. In particular, new turbocharger developments will be the focus to achieve greener engines. Turbochargers can be used in gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and even natural gas engines, and they’re becoming a vital part of car manufacturers’ overall plans to increase efficiency and make engines smaller while maintaining or increasing their power.


The accurate measurement of temperature in the engine is crucial for the calculation of thermal stresses, in particular on turbine wheels. Thermal stresses negatively affect the durability of a turbocharger and, hence, knowing the temperature profile of a specific design is critical.

Other components requiring accurate temperature detection in the hot section of the automotive engine include cylinders and valves.

This new sensor technology will assist in assessing novel valve designs such as hollow-stem and hollow-heads in combination with active cooling liquids. Temperature gradients between stem and head can be monitored and temperature models can be quickly validated on the bench top, hence accelerating development times.

SCS’s thermal history coating technique can offer durable sensor coatings for the application on valves or turbocharger components, as well as less robust, but easy to apply paints for temperature profiling of exhaust pipes, for instance.


Robust sensor coatings, deposited by atmospheric plasma spraying, or alternative physical vapour deposition techniques, have the potential to survive many hours in harsh environments and promise data from long-term testing. These types of coatings can also be used as potential warranty tools where maximum temperature limits need to be observed.

Using a thermal history sensor, temperature profiles can be measured with a probe either in situ after the actual operation or after disassembly. A benchtop or hand-held device can be used for the interrogation.