January 28, 2006 The internal combustion engine by another name is a heat pump and the hotter it gets in said engine’s combustion chamber, the more efficient and powerful the little sucker becomes. As any aspiring engine tuner will tell you, pistons have a habit of complaining (cracking, melting and worse) when things get very hot in there, so the petrol-heads amongst us should be downright grateful to developments over the last quarter century in the field of ceramics. We realized how far things had come when we heard about Federal-Mogul’s new line of high-strength high-performance pistons with a ceramic piston-head coating that withstands combustion temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and delivers three times the surface hardness of hard-anodized coatings.
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