In this investigation, three materials and several surface finishes on cylinder walls were compared in laboratory tests that simulate the running-in behavior of fired engines. The three materials were the conventional cast gray iron, a sintered graphite-iron powder, and a cast aluminum-silicon alloy. The surface finishes were formed by various types of polishing and honing, including “plateau honing.” The run-in behavior of these materials was indicated by a laboratory simulator that is known to correlate with the early wear seen in fired engines. Two test sequences were used. One is a scuff test, in which a quick succession of increasing contact pressure is applied between a piston ring and a cylinder wall until surface failure occurs. The other is a “normal” wear test in which a lower contact pressure is applied, for a longer term study of surface change and coefficient of friction. Scuff load and midstroke friction were found to be dependent on roughness but independent of the amount of plateauing, as measured by skewness of the height distribution in the surface roughness trace. Plateau-honed cylinders were found to run in no more quickly than uniform-honed cylinders. Graphite-iron powder and aluminum-silicon cylinder walls had lower scuff resistance than did gray iron, but their “normal” wear behavior and midstroke friction performance were about the same as gray iron.

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