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A piston is a metal cylinder that slides up and down inside a tubular housing, receiving pressure
or exerting pressure on a fluid, especially one of several in an internalcombustion engine [1]. It is
the main moving/reciprocating component of a reciprocating engine and is contained by a
cylinder. The usual form of a piston is an inverted bucket-shape, machined to a close (but free
sliding) fit in the cylinder barrel [2]. Gas tightness is ensured by means of flexible piston rings
fitted closely in grooves turned in the upper part of the piston [3]. The main features of the piston
are shown in Fig. 1. Pistons are used in a variety of machines to convert one form of energy to
another or to transfer fluids (such as water or air) or energy from one place to another. In an
automobile, pistons are found in the engine, the braking system, the water pump and air
conditioners. They are also used in power plants, vacuum pumps, condensers etc

The piston is a vital component of a cylindrical engine. It reciprocates inside the cylinder
bore. The piston acts as a moveable end of the combustion chamber. The cylinder head is the
stationary end of the combustion chamber. The piston head is the top surface (closest to the
cylinder head) of the piston which is subjected to pressure fluctuation, thermal stresses and
mechanical load during normal engine operation. By the forces of combustion, piston
reciprocates inside the cylinder bore.

The force differentials caused by the expanding combustion gases and the flame front
crossing exert forces the piston head can reach two to three times this force. Due to the
reciprocating movement of the piston from Top Dead Centre (TDC) to Bottom Dead Centre
(BDC) and high temperature fluctuations during operation, this can be called as thermal cycle

In order to increase the efficiency of operation and better functionality, the piston material
should satisfy the following requirements:

 Light weight
 Good wear resistance
 Good thermal conductivity
 High strength to weight ratio
 Free from rust
 Easy to cast
 Easy to machine
 Non magnetic
 Non toxic

Material used for piston

Most piston are made from cast aluminum alloy. Cast aluminum alloy is lightweight and has
good structural integrity and low manufacturing costs. The light weight of aluminum reduces
the overall mass and force necessary to initiate and maintain acceleration of the piston. Piston
rings which is one of the part of the piston are generally manufactured from cast iron or
stainless steel.

Casting treatment

Drilling and
grinding Boring

 Foundry is the beginning of the piston

 At the foundry, the die is prepared by heating it to operating temperature for
approximately one hour.
 The process allows the die to readily accept the molten material when it is poured.
 The molten material used for piston is 10% silicon and 90% aluminum.
 The process starts by heating the material up to 700°C
 The material is then scooped up with a ladle from the crucible (the pot that hold the
molten material)
 This is then poured into the die through the sprue
 The material is then allowed to cool before it is removed from the die.
Heat Treatment

 Heat treatment is the controlled heating and cooling of metals and alloys to change
their physical, metallurgical and mechanical properties.
 Heat treatment is often associated with increasing the strength of material, but it can
also be used to modify certain manufacturability objectives such as machinability
improvement, formability enhancement and restoring ductility.
 It is a very enabling manufacturing process and also improves the product
performance by increasing the strength and other desirable properties without
changing the product shape.
 Piston is placed in an oven twice. The first time is at higher temperature to strengthen
the material.
 The second one is at lower temperature to stabilize the material
Controlled heating and cooling to change physical and mechanical properties of the
piston but maintain the same shape. This basically can increases strength and
hardness and simplify the machining processes.

 Open end bore machining

 Rough outer diameter turning
 Grooves forming
 Semi finish hole boring
 Circle grooving oil hole drilling in 3rd groove and skirt
 Ring grooving and chamfering
 Final outer diameter turning
 Deburring and cleaning
 Tin coating
 Finish pin hole boring

 It is a pin hole boring

 At this stage, the casting has the gudgeon pin hole rough machined
 This is carried out on a simple lathe
 The pin borer is only a rough machining process which allows the reamer to enter the
gudgeon hole later.
Drilling and grinding

 Drilling includes all oil holes in places such as the gudgeon pin bosses and oil rig
 Slotting is done where slots are placed in the skirt or in the oil ring groove.
 Grinding involves the final size being machined on the piston.
 Semi finish hole boring
 Circlip grooving oil hole drilling in 3rd groove and skirt.
 Ring grooving and chamfering

 The final machining process for the piston is reaming

 This process involves the piston being placed in a bath of oil and reamed at different sizes
to reach the final size required.
 Since the pin boring process is only rough, it is necessary to ream the pin bore a number
of times to achieve the surface finish and size required.
 Reaming makes existing holes dimensionally more accurate and improves surface finish.
 A typical tolerance is about 0.4Ra

Based from this task, we learnt the importance of piston in automotive system with its
terminology is clearly described. We are able to elaborate the detailed explanation on piston with
keen concentration on type of piston materials and the selection of suitable piston materials.

Apart from that, we understand more about the methodology behind the fabrication
process of piston by die casting. This step are explain in a flow chart.

Furthermore, for all the machining conditions employed, surface roughness found to be
within the limit proposed by the industry standard. Feed plays a major role in achieving smoother
finish. It is observed that the crater wear occurs on CBN tool.

The need for improvement of properties by heat treatment is realized through the
metallurgical and mechanical characterization studies of treated and untreated pistons. Pistons
are subjected to heat treatments and analyzed through study for their bonding nature.