The two broad divisions of aluminum pistons from a thermal standpoint are those designed to conduct the heat from the head into the skirt and thence into the cylinder walls, and those designed to partly insulate the skirt from the heat of the piston head. Pistons of the first type seem logical for heavy-duty engines; those of the second type are better suited for passenger-car engines. The objections of wear, piston slap, excessive oil consumption and crankcase dilution are stated as being the same for aluminum as for cast-iron pistons; and these statements are amplified. Piston slap is next considered and, as this can be overcome by using proper clearance, pistons of the second design tend to make this condition easier to meet. Many tests show that when too much oil is thrown into the cylinder bores, tight-fitting pistons and special rings will not completely overcome excessive oil consumption. Some details of the facts thus demonstrated are given and the conclusion is reached that more rapid wear follows crankcase dilution.


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