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Development of High-strength Piston Material with Die Casting

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.17 No.2

Summary

The pistons are an essential element in the achievement of greater engine efficiency. A method of increasing the strength of the material employed in pistons to respond to increased thermal and mechanical loads and reducing weight has been developed to contribute to the quest for enhancements in power and fuel economy.
This method is used in the die cast production process, which has a rapid rate of cooling. The limit for addition of Ni to the aluminum alloy employed has been increased to 5.5mass%. At the same time, less than 0.4mass% of Fe is added and the Mn/Fe ratio is controlled to less than 0.6 in order to limit the coarsening of the crystals. This technique has increased the high-temperature fatigue strength of the material by more than 1.5 times against the material conventionally employed. In addition, the uses of die vacuum and additional pressure have enabled quality exceeding that of conventional GDC pistons.
Optimization of the piston shape to match the characteristics of the new material has resulted in decreasing engine friction by 4.4% and increasing fuel efficiency by 2.2% in engine bench testing.

Reference

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Author (organization or company)

Akito TANIHATA(Tochigi R&D Center)、Kenji SATOH(Tochigi R&D Center)、Kazunari FURUKAWA(Tochigi R&D Center)

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