Inspecting for Burrs in Piston Cooling Channels

In a piston assembly, engine oil is used to reduce friction, prevent heat buildup, and permit smooth movement of the piston inside the cylinder liner. To dispose of the oil following each stroke, a piston has oil rings that fit into grooves around its circumference. Certain grooves are equipped with cooling channels, which help convey used oil back to the oil pan. If burrs form in these grooves, the oil rings cannot fit into them properly, which can prevent the oil from being routed through the channels. This makes the piston susceptible to engine oil accumulation. For this reason, quality control checks need to ensure that no burrs are present in the grooves and channels. Because cooling channels extend from the top to the bottom of the groove, obtaining a clear, focused image of the entire depth is difficult with conventional microscopes.

The Solution from Olympus

A crisp, in-focus image of the entire cooling channel is possible using an Olympus DSX digital microscope. This microscope series is programmed with advanced and powerful autofocusing capabilities that ensure precise image acquisition from the top to the bottom of the groove, providing a clear view of the whole channel.

Features of the DSX

The DSX series [PG1] offers the following features:

  • A one-click, extended focal image (EFI) function that enables the acquisition of completely focused images of the entire body of a structure, regardless of significant height differences
  • High-resolution images and excellent focal depth, owing in part to dedicated objective lenses
  • Smooth magnification from 1x to 30x powered by advanced zoom optics
  • An annotation function that allows operators to describe and specify the position of flaws they observe and save the notes directly in the image for easy data sharing

Products Used

For burr inspection in piston grooves, the DSX 510 was used. Capable of acquiring and analyzing detailed and accurate 3D images of samples with uneven surfaces, the DSX510 digital microscope reveals flaws that are otherwise very difficult to see. Equipped with a series of high NA, low aberration, dedicated lenses, the DSX510 microscope provides high resolution and precise measurements.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Olympus Corporation of the Americas Scientific Solutions Group.

For more information on this source, please visit Olympus Corporation of the Americas Scientific Solutions Group.

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