Common questions about piston rings answered

Even as ship spare stockists, or a business supplying marine parts, there may be a few questions you have in regards to marine piston rings. Luckily, we’re here to answer them.

What are piston rings made of?

The most common material for piston rings to be made out of is cast iron. This is because the original shape’s integrity is retained through dynamic forces such as heat and forceful loads. Furthermore, cast iron has high wear resistance and is fully compatible with the material of the cylinder liner.

Why do piston rings wear out?

If a customer comes in asking why their piston rings are wearing out at a quicker pace than usual, there’s a good chance that their engine is suffering from a poor filtration system or a lubrication problem, rather than an issue with the quality of the ring. If either of these systems fail, then this will result in the piston ring wearing and failing at a far faster rate.

What is the typical longevity of a piston ring?

If a customer comes in asking this question, it may be hard to provide them with a definitive answer. Piston rings, per se, do not have a straightforward lifespan. By normal standards, they should last for thousands of hours. However, this is dependant on the factors surrounding and affecting the ring – such as the ones above.

If you’re looking for a quality piston ring manufacturer to buy or stock from, then look no further than PPUK! We stock all of the finest marine and industrial piston rings for all of your needs, so get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today! The sheer scope of our products and dedication to excellent customer service won’t be matched anywhere else.

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Reduce your environmental impact with marine piston rings

Aside from their ability to maximise power, marine piston rings can help to reduce the impact that your ship has on the environment. Here are just some reasons why these rings can help to make marine ships as sustainable as possible.

Decrease leakage

Sealing rings help to secure the gap between the piston and liner and prevent leakage. This would otherwise result in harmful substances escaping into the environment, such as fuel or contaminated water. As 70% of contaminated water is a result of industrial waste (https://www.veluda.com/en/blog/15-endiaferon-dedomena-gia-ti-molunsi-tou-nerou-220), it is important to do as much as possible to lessen the impact. Marine piston rings can help to minimise water pollution and consequently protect marine life.

Reduced fuel consumption

Similarly, the ability of compressed piston rings to minimise leakage helps to reduce fuel consumption. If there was a leak in gas compression, this would increase the amount of fuel used, as there would not be enough power for the engine. As well as being an excellent energy-efficient measure, using piston rings can also help you to save money. Reducing the amount of fuel that is wasted helps to prevent financial loss.

Improved sealing

Compared to the levels of efficiency that would occur without the use of marine piston rings, carbon footprint can be reduced as a result of their sealing ability. Their sealing properties make their application on ships more efficient, helping to achieve a healthier environment.

If you would like to receive more information about marine piston rings, contact Precision Products UK. We are a piston ring manufacturer who can produce products to meet the requirements of ship owners all over the world, as well as manufacturing products for industrial applications.

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How do marine piston rings withstand the pressure?

It’s no secret that marine piston rings are put under a lot of pressure and heavy forces. The way they’re constructed helps them to withstand these conditions and continue functioning normally. Here are some of the factors that contribute to their durability:

Materials

Most piston rings are made from cast iron, which is because this material has the lamellar form of graphite within its composition. This adds lubrication to aid the smooth sliding of piston rings in the engine, though it is not a substitution for oil. There are many different grades of cast iron used for piston rings and it is imperative that the correct grade is selected when replacing your piston rings.

Shape

The fact that piston rings are circular and have open ends means that they can be pressed in cylinder liner walls and exert radial pressure of equal force outwards. This creates a tighter seal and is achieved by ensuring the rings are the same diameter as the bore of the cylinder before they are applied.

Alloying and other materials

Chromium alloys are not as common as they once were, as this resulted in marine piston rings seizing. However, to maintain their resistance to pressure, other alloys such as titanium, copper, nickel, and vanadium can be used. Some top piston rings may also use higher levels of carbon and silicone, as these will be exposed to the most heat. They’ll be able to deal with these more difficult conditions and transfer heat more effectively to the rest of the cylinder.

Contact us

Here at Precision Products UK, we pride ourselves in supplying high-quality piston rings for marine engines. If you have any questions about the rings we stock and their suitability for your business, simply give us a call.

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A guide to piston ring maintenance

Piston rings, in general, are usually hard-wearing and long-lasting. There are times, however, when some maintenance is required to ensure your piston rings continue to work to their maximum efficiency.

How to tell when your piston rings need maintenance

If you notice a change in the performance quality of your engine or piston rings, the rings will most likely need replacing. Signs to look out for include excessive oil consumption and an unusual amount of smoke being released from your engine. If the chrome layer or additional coating on your piston rings appears to be wearing or flaking off prematurely, this is another indication your engine require some attention.

Piston ring maintenance

If you notice a problem with your engine or piston rings, you may need to remove the rings and carefully clean the piston and the grooves where the rings sit. Oil return holes can accumulate excess deposits which can be cleared away with kerosene or diesel oil. After cleaning, inspect the piston and look for any potential defects that may be causing problems.

When is replacement necessary?

After removing the rings from your piston, check if the grooves on your piston have become too worn, replacing the piston itself may be required. If after cleaning, and ensuring your piston is in good condition, your engine continues to operate with a decreased performance, replacing the rings may be necessary.

If you have any questions about piston ring or sealing ring maintenance, do not hesitate to contact Precision Products UK. As a leading piston ring manufacturer, we can supply you with quality marine or industrial piston rings and offer guidance about piston ring maintenance and replacement

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Which coating is right for my piston rings?

Choosing to coat your piston rings has been proven to extend their life and improve their efficiency. For example, coating a piston ring can prevent scuffing and reduce corrosion. If, however, you select the wrong coating for your piston rings you can cause excessive wear and reduce the performance of your rings, it is therefore essential you select the right type of coating.

Ceramic chrome

Most commonly used for 2 and 4 stroke engine applications, a ceramic chrome piston ring coating is a great coating option to reduce friction and minimise wear at higher temperatures. Ceramic chrome is a popular option due to its good thermal stability.

Hard chrome

Often used on 2 and 4 stroke engines, hard chrome is incredibly durable, wear resistant and prevents galling.

Nickel graphite

Nickel graphite is most commonly applied with another coating to help the coating and piston ring bed-in. Applications for nickel graphite coatings are fairly universal but is particularly powerful when used on plasma sprayed coatings.

Copper

Copper coatings are applied to help piston rings bed-in during their first use, however, copper coatings are generally very thin and only survive for the first few hours of an engine’s operation. This should be considered when selecting your piston coating.

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is popular because of its anti-scuffing properties which makes it suitable for use with 4 stroke top rings. This coating is usually plasma sprayed and offers great wear resistance.

The above are just some of the coating options available for marine and industrial piston rings. If you would like more guidance about piston ring coatings or piston rings in general, do not hesitate to contact Precision Products UK. As a leading piston ring manufacturer, we have the expertise and experience to answer any questions you may have.

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Signs your piston rings need replacing

Piston rings are incredibly important when it comes to the smooth running of engines. However, all too often people forget about their condition until it’s too late. Here are some signs that you’re in need of some new ones:

Excessive smoke

If the smoke coming out of your engine is grey in colour and particularly thick, then it could mean your piston rings need replacing. The bad rings allow oil to leak and burn, resulting in incomplete combustion and smoke.

Using more oil than usual

If your oil consumption seems to have increased all of a sudden, then old piston rings could be the culprit. When rings are old and worn, they allow the oil to leak into combustion chambers, meaning you will be using more than you need. Over time, this can cost you a great deal of money, so it’s always best to check your piston rings on a regular basis.

Lacking power

Worn piston rings can also cause your engine to experience a reduction in power. There will be less compression, so your engine may struggle to accelerate as effectively. If you’re using the throttle and waiting increasingly long periods of time for your engine to speed up, then the piston rings may be at fault.

Decreased performance

When piston rings have really deteriorated, your engine may completely lose power, or its performance will be greatly reduced. You might notice very limited functionality and will need to fix the problem as soon as possible, as work won’t be possible when the engine is running this poorly. However, it’s unlikely that your engine will reach this point if you act quickly when noticing the other symptoms.

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