Mon-Fri 8am-5pm PST Live Customer Service & Technical Support
888-800-9629
(0) $0.00 (US)
|
Learning Center
Share |

Spark Plug Center Electrode Designs

Center electrodes come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Standard spark plugs typically feature a traditional 2.5mm center electrode. Center electrode variations include fine wire, necked down, oversized, recessed, retracted, star shaped, taper cut, and V-Power.


Standard Spark Plug Center Electrode

 

 

 

Originally designed to improve starting and reduce fouling on two-stroke engines, a fine wire electrode was found to improve performance in four-stroke engines as well.

A smaller electrode requires less voltage to jump the gap, resulting in fewer misfires, which translates to increased fuel economy and horsepower. A smaller electrode also reduces flame quenching.

Reducing the electrode size on a standard nickel plug would result in a drastically shortened life span, so the smaller electrodes require exotic metals such as platinum or iridium to maintain (and at times surpass) the longevity of a traditional spark plug.

While a traditional electrode is 2.5mm in diameter, Denso currently makes the thinnest fine wire plug with a 0.4mm center electrode. They're followed closely behind by Pulstar at 0.5mm, NGK, Autolite and Bosch at 0.6mm and Champion at 0.7mm.


 

A necked down center electrode serves a similar function to a taper cut, fine wire and v-cut center electrode. All trimmed designs have the same purpose: to reduce quenching and shadowing by reducing the surface area between the electrodes which could hinder the growth of the flame nucleus.


 

Oversized electrodes are designed to withstand higher thermal and mechanical shock inherent with high compression motors.


 

Retracted or recessed center electrodes are designed to place the spark out of the mainstream air/fuel flow. This makes it difficult to initiate a good flame front, but is necessary when valve or piston clearance is insufficient for conventional plugs, or when boost pressures and/or fuel type can cause excessive combustion chamber temperatures.

 

Star-shaped center electrodes operate on the same concept as multi-ground plugs. The star shaped cutout creates a multi-point electrode with several firing points around the tip.

 

A taper cut center electrode serves a similar function to a necked down, fine wire and v-cut center electrode. All trimmed designs have the same purpose: to reduce quenching and shadowing by reducing the surface area between the electrodes which could hinder the growth of the flame nucleus.


 

V-Power spark plugs are a patented design by NGK to improve ignitability and reduce quenching.

Ignitability is improved by the V-groove cut in the center electrode, which runs parallel to the ground electrode. This directs the spark to the edge of the center electrode, thus exposing it to more of the air/fuel mixture.

Quenching is reduced in much the same manner: Drawing the spark to the edge of the center and ground electrodes, reducing the surface area available to quench the spark.

questions?
call us (888-800-9629)
LOOKING FOR WHOLESALE PRICING? Contact Us for Quotes
SPARKPLUGS.COM
P.O. Box 772
Sun City, CA 92586
CUSTOMER SERVICE
Toll Free: 888-800-9629
Out of U.S call 951-672-8501