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Volume versus temperature

  1. Jan 5, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Many automobile engines have cast-iron cylinders and aluminium pistons. What kinds of problems could occur if the engine gets too hot? (The coefficient of volume expansion of cast-iron is approximately the same as that of steel.)

    2. Relevant equations

    Relation of volume to temperature

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The coefficient of volume expansion of steel is 4.8*10-5(C°)-1. I don't see the relevance here of this numerical value. Do you?

    The problems I could come up with:

    1. The cylinders and pistons would expand and frictional forces would act between the cylinders and the pistons. This would lead to a slower rate of speed of the automobile for a given rate of fuel consumption.

    2. Any others???
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2013 #2


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    Homework Helper

    If there is too much friction, what will happen to the temperature of the pistons and hence what can happen to its diameter?
  4. Jan 5, 2013 #3
    How will each expand?
    Look at the values of the Coefficients of Thermal Expansion in the table of the website
    Why do piston rings have a gap in them?
    The website talks about Concorde, I once read that the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird dripped fuel on the runway and only after heating up and expanding was it fuel tank sealed.
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