Piston assembly design for improved thermal-tribological performance

Qian Wang, Yiding Cao, Gang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The tribological system in the piston assembly of an internal combustion engine includes contacts at interfaces of piston/piston ring/cylinder liner, piston skirt/cylinder wall, and piston/piston pin/ connecting rod. The thermal and tribological properties of the piston, piston rings, and cylinder wall are critical to the life and quality of the engine. Severe wear and scuffing failure, especially at the ring/ring groove and ring/liner interfaces, may present a major problem if the piston temperature is too high. Temperature considerations for the piston often limit the effort to increase the engine power. A new engine piston incorporating the heat pipe cooling technology has been developed for reducing the piston temperature, especially in the ring land and along the piston wall. The current work aims at investigating the effect of reciprocating heat pipes on heat conduction in the piston, and thus the tribological behavior of the piston assembly. Due to the high thermal conductance of the reciprocating heat pipe, a considerably large amount of combustion heat, which is conventionally conducted through the piston wall, is transferred through heat pipes. This new design will result in a lower temperature on the piston wall and a reasonably low temperature distribution in the piston.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalTribology Transactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Internal combustion engines
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Thermal effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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