Video Series: Mahle Aftermarket Covers Piston Ring Basics

Mahle‘s new video series will help take the mystery out of piston rings.

Hosted by Bill McKnight, who’s a familiar face around the races and automotive trade shows, walks the viewers through piston ring basics in the first two installments. The opening segment covers the fundamental operation of the standard 3-ring package found in today’s internal-combustion engines, including diesel. Everyone knows the top ring is for compression; that is, keeping the combustion gasses from escaping the cylinder into the crankcase.

“The second ring surprises most folks,” instructs McKnight. “Even though it’s called a compression ring, its primary job is to scrap oil off the cylinder wall. We call it fine oil control.”

The third ring, of course, is strictly for lubrication, or “gross oil control.”

The second video covers piston ring materials, including the difference between gray iron and ductile iron. The former is hardly used in today’s engines as it isn’t compatible with smaller, high-revving pistons. Other materials covered include high-alloy carbon steel and stainless steel, with the latter primarily used in performance engines. It usually has to be coated and will wear down the cylinder walls quicker than other materials.

With a production run of nine million rings a month, Mahle’s experts are quite adept at offering piston ring advice. The video series is short, informative and to the point. Check ’em out.

For more information on the complete line of Mahle Aftermarket’s products, including piston rings, Clevite engine bearings, and gaskets, check out their website.

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About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World.
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