Thermal Analysis of Steel and Aluminium Pistons for an HSDI Diesel Engine
Chromium-molybdenum alloy steel pistons, which have been used in commercial vehicle applications for some time, have more recently been proposed as a means of improving thermal efficiency in light-duty applications. This work reports a comparison of the effects of geometrically similar aluminium and steel pistons on the combustion characteristics and energy flows on a single cylinder high-speed direct injection diesel research engine tested at two speed / load conditions (1500 rpm / 6.9 bar nIMEP and 2000 rpm/25.8 bar nIMEP) both with and without EGR. The results indicate that changing to an alloy steel piston can provide a significant benefit in brake thermal efficiency at part-load and a reduced (but non-negligible) benefit at the high-load condition and also a reduction in fuel consumption. These benefits were attributed primarily to a reduction in friction losses.