As from 2019 and for a period of 6 years, these steel pistons will be produced at Kolbenschmidt's Czech location at Ústí nad Labem. The customer, a premium-segment OEM that so far has not installed any steel pistons in its cars, will be fitting them in a new generation of six-cylinder diesel engines.
Steel pistons for cars are the trend in current engine developments, especially in the premium segment of the market. They are shorter than their aluminum cousins and, with their smaller piston skirt surface combined with a longer connecting rod, help reduce friction within the engine. The result is an up to four percent reduction in fuel consumption and correspondingly lower CO2 emissions. This applies to engines with moderate as well as higher power densities and rising peak pressures. Since 2014, KS Kolbenschmidt has been supplying steel pistons for a high-volume series-production model to another premium manufacturer.
Steel is much stronger than aluminum, which allows an approximately 30 percent reduction in overall height for steel compared with aluminum pistons. Steel's reduced thermal conductivity also means higher surface temperature of the piston in the combustion chamber, the consequence being more efficient combustion and another contribution to CO2 reduction.
About Rheinmetall Automotive
Rheinmetall Automotive AG (formerly KSPG AG) which represents the Mobility sector within Rheinmetall, the German Technology Group, has annual sales of around €2.6 billion (2015) and ranks among the 100 biggest auto-industry suppliers worldwide. Some 11,000 employees at around 40 production plants in Europe, the Americas, Japan, India and China develop and manufacture components, modules and assemblies for the drive systems of present and future vehicles.
This first-tier supplier, present on the international automotive markets, consists of three divisions: Hardparts, Mechatronics, and Aftermarket. The business of Rheinmetall Automotive's Hardparts division is combined under the umbrella of the Kolbenschmidt brand, comprising car and commercial vehicle pistons, large-bore pistons, engine blocks, cylinder heads, and structural parts in aluminum. Also included are plain bearings and continuous castings.
Under the Pierburg brand, Rheinmetall Automotive's Mechatronics division specializes in modules and assemblies for emission control, solenoid valves, actuators and valve train systems, as well as oil, water and vacuum pumps for cars, trucks and offroad vehicles.
The Aftermarket division is responsible for the worldwide spare parts business under the Motorservice brand as well as other Group brands and third-party products in over 130 countries. As a foremost supplier of engine components, Motorservice offers its customers an extensive lineup of engine parts from a single source.