All the Pistons Parts Explained

October 31, 2012

Pistons parts make up one of the most important pieces of any combustion engine. The pistons are used to transfer the chemical energy contained in the fuel to mechanical energy that can be used by an automobile. The following will list all the parts of a piston system and explain how they work together.

Cylinder

The piston system is contained in a cylinder. The top end is closed with the fuel injector, air injector and spark plug poking through.

Fuel/Air Injector

The fuel and air injectors squirt the correct proportion of oxygen and gasoline gas into the cylinder periodically.

Spark Plug

Each time the injectors squirt fuel and air into the cylinder, the spark plug, a device with an electrode protruding into the cylinder, creates a spark that ignites the fuel, creating a small explosion.

Piston and Piston Rings

The piston, the main part of the piston system, is located below where the fuel is injected and can move up and down in the cylinder. When the fuel is ignited, the force of the explosion pushes the piston downward in the cylinder. The piston rings create a seal between the edge of the piston and the edge of the cylinder to ensure that none of the force from the explosion escapes around the piston.

Crankshaft

The piston is connected by a rod with a hinge at both ends to the crankshaft, the part of the engine that transfers the up and down motion of the piston to angular motion that can be used by the wheels. When the piston is pushed down, the crankshaft is pushed around in one direction, and the energy from one or more other pistons keeps the shaft going in that direction when the energy from first piston is spent. That way, the crankshaft can make a complete turn to bring the piston back upward in the cylinder to begin another cycle.

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