Piston materials

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Piston materials

Post  Steve Traill on Tue 26 May 2009, 12:07 pm

Hi
On the neverending quest to get my engine perfect I was wondering why the piston is made of steel and not alluminium. It is a lot of weight changing direction all the time and in car engines they are all ally so why not in a steam engine? One or two of the guys at the Launceston rally I have just returned from have made & fitted ally pistons to make them smoother so is it worth doing the same?

If anyone has a view I would be interested in hearing it

The floor is now open!

Steve bounce

Steve Traill

Number of posts : 595
Age : 59
Location : Illogan Redruth Cornwall
Registration date : 2008-06-29

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Piston materials

Post  Steve Traill on Mon 15 Jun 2009, 8:40 am

Well as there were no other views on the best material for a piston and considering that petrol & diesel engines have had aluminium pistons for the last 70+ years I have gone and made one from bog standard aluminium bar. I increased the clearance by 0.4mm from the iron piston on the diameter and yesterday trialled it at the Newlyn East Rally. It was no different as far as performance of the engine however the engine revved a lot smoother and the forward & backward joggle was much reduced which has to be good for the bearings etc. The difference in weight between the iron piston 600g conpared to the ally piston of 220g makes a considerable difference in the overall mass changing direction twice every stroke. I will see how it goes throughout the season but so far after running for about 6 hours yesterday it is a mod well worth doing. Very Happy

Steve Traill

Number of posts : 595
Age : 59
Location : Illogan Redruth Cornwall
Registration date : 2008-06-29

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