Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Analysis of Aluminum and Steel Pistons—Comparison of Friction, Piston Temperature, and Combustion

[+] Author and Article Information
Kai Schreer

Pragstrasse 26-46,
Stuttgart 70376, Germany
e-mail: kai.schreer@mahle.com

Ingo Roth

Pragstrasse 26-46,
Stuttgart 70376,Germany
e-mail: ingo.roth@mahle.com

Simon Schneider

MAHLE International GmbH,
Pragstrasse 26-46,
Stuttgart 70376,Germany
e-mail: simon.schneider@mahle.com

Holger Ehnis

MAHLE International GmbH,
Haldenstrasse 94-114,
Stuttgart 70376,Germany
e-mail: holger.ehnis@mahle.com

Contributed by the Coal, Biomass and Alternate Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received February 14, 2014; final manuscript received February 18, 2014; published online May 2, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 136(10), 101506 (May 02, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1091; doi: 10.1115/1.4027275 History: Received February 14, 2014; Revised February 18, 2014

While steel pistons have been in use for a long time in commercial vehicle diesel engines, the first series production applications for passenger car diesel engines are currently imminent. The main reason for the use of steel pistons in high speed diesel engines is not, as maybe initially hypothesized, the increasing requirements on the component strength due to increasing mechanical loads, but rather challenges based on the actual CO2-legislation. The increasing requirements to reduce the fuel consumption necessitate new innovative technologies. The imminent penalties for exceeding the prescribed CO2 emissions seem to make the steel piston a viable alternative today, despite its higher manufacturing costs. So far, the CO2-benefits using steel pistons were mainly ascribed to the reduced friction between piston and cylinder liner due to no thermal interference.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Schneider, S., Ehnis, H., and Schreer, K., 2013, “Analyse von Aluminium- und Stahlkolben—Vergleich von Reibung, Kolbentemperatur und Verbrennung,” 13th Stuttgart International Symposium Automotive and Engine Technology, Stuttgart, Germany, February 26–27.
Pischinger, S., 2001, “Vorlesungsumdruck Verbrennungsmotoren Band I+II,” Technische Hochschule Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Deuß, T., Ehnis, H., Freier, R., Künzel, R., 2010, “Reibleistungsmessungen am Befeuerten Dieselmotor – Potenziale der Kolbengruppe,” MTZ Motortechnische Zeitschrift., 71(05/2010).
Schäfer, B.-H., Schneider, V., and Geisselbrecht, M., 2010, “Real-Time Kolbentemperaturmessungen Mit Einem auf Telemetrie Basierenden Datenübertragungssystem—Messtechnik-Applikation und Erste Ergebnisse,” 10th Stuttgart International Symposium Automotive and Engine Technology, Stuttgart, Germany, March 16–17.
Stitterich, E., Geisselbrecht, M., and Künzel, R., 2013, “Influence of Cooling Channel Design on Piston Temperature of HSD Engines,” 13th Stuttgart International Symposium Automotive and Engine Technology, Stuttgart, Germany, February 26–27.
Baberg, A., Freidhager, M., Mergler, H., and Schmidt, K., 2012, “Aspekte der Kolbenmaterialwahl bei Dieselmotoren,” MTZ Motortechnische Zeitschrift., 73(12/2012).


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Parallel investigation of piston temperatures, thermodynamics, and frictional losses

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Configuration of the two piston variants investigated

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Thermal expansion behavior of the aluminum piston (a) and the steel piston (b)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Reduction in compression height and influence on the side force

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Conditioning the test unit to allow stable measurement results

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Friction result (a) and specific fuel consumption result (b) for daily check operating point OP7

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Operating points for the tests

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Friction difference in the engine operating map (positive values: steel piston has lower friction)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Loss analysis for the operating point 1500 rpm, 200 Nm mapping point OP4

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Fuel consumption advantage of the steel piston for all mapping points

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Fuel consumption benefits at the power curve, Al versus steel piston. ISFC (thermodynamics only) difference versus BSFC (thermodynamics and friction) difference.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Change in piston temperature (cylinder 2 thrust side bowl rim, 2000 rpm, 250 Nm) for variations in engine and cooling parameters



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In