Car engines are becoming increasingly compact with a greater specific power. This reduces the weight, moving masses and fuel consumption. In the engine, however, the temperatures and pressures rise for individual components. This causes conventional pistons made of aluminium to reach their limits. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" (14/2016) presents a cooling concept for engine pistons using a liquid metal alloy. Compared with aluminium, steel offers greater strength against thermal and mechanical loads.
Innovative cooling concept enables more efficient engines
In diesel engines, particularly the piston head and the chemical stability of the engine oil are prone to temperature peaks. This can lead to cracks in the material and coking reactions by the oil. Therefore a coolant was needed which compensated for the poorer thermal conductivity of steel compared with aluminium. It also needs to remain stable at temperatures above 500 °C. The researchers therefore used a mixture of sodium and potassium as a cooling medium in a modified, serial-produced steel piston with a cooling channel. The fast heat dissipation enables an even temperature distribution in the piston.
A diesel engine demonstrator successfully passed the test run on the test rig. At the same time, the developers are also researching the use of engines with the new steel pistons for commercial vehicles and stationary applications. Mahle GmbH has carried out the development work in cooperation with research institutes.
You found all informations about the BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" here:
Uwe Milles/Birgit Schneider
About BINE Information Service
Energy research for practical applications
The BINE Information Service reports on energy research topics, such as new materials, systems and components, as well as innovative concepts and methods. The knowledge gained is incorporated into the implementation of new technologies in practice, because first-rate information provides a basis for pioneering decisions, whether in the planning of energy-optimised buildings, increasing the efficiency of industrial processes, or integrating renewable energy sources into existing systems.
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