September 2010

Engineering Case Histories

Case history 58: Piston pin plug wear

A wear analysis can help when failure data are meager

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

An internal combustion engine experienced aluminum particles in the oil after only 700 hr of operation. Previously the engine was overhauled at 1,700 hr with no wear noted. A literature review and discussions with the manufacturer did not identify any definitive causes. Figs. 1 and 2 show the aluminum piston pin plug that failed due to excessive wear. The plugs keep the steel piston pin from contacting the cylinder wall.     Fig. 1. Piston pin plug rub track on cylinder wall.     Fig. 2. Aluminum piston pin plug wear.With only historical data on the engine available an aluminum plug wear model was developed to understand how the variables contribu

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