This paper examines the simulation and thermal optimization of a wide-range oxygen sensor, which helps to regulate clean and efficient motor operation. The setup of the finite element model of the oxygen sensor is discussed in detail, along with how the sensor's geometry and material properties were optimized for thermal loads that represented worst-case operating conditions. Developed by Delphi Corporation, a provider of mobile electronics and transportation components, the completed sensor design currently is being integrated into the next generation of car engines to increase fuel efficiency and reduce environmentally unfriendly exhaust emissions. Engines featuring these sensors are expected to be used in 2004.

This work was done by C. Scott Nelson, Senior Project Engineer for Delphi Corporation, Troy, MI, using ALGOR FEA software. To obtain a copy of this article, visit http://delphireport.ALGOR.com.