We’ve often spoken about MAHLE Motorsports’ piston program and the immense lineup of off-the-shelf piston options. We’ve also touched on its custom piston design program a few times. However, MAHLE is really ramping up its game on the custom side, looking to incorporate all of the materials and technology at its disposal into unique applications requiring something different than what is already on the shelves.
MAHLE offers a large variety of base piston materials to choose from, including the traditional forged 2618 and 4032 aluminum alloys, as well as the proprietary Mahle 124 (M124) and Mahle 142P (M142P) forged aluminum alloys, along with a billet aluminum option. In addition to base materials, MAHLE is offering up its entire line of coatings to fit the application of the custom pistons.
Possibly the best-known coating, Grafal, is exclusive to MAHLE Motorsport, and provides a friction-reducing cushion on the piston skirt, preventing wear from contact with the cylinder wall. MAHLE’s phosphate dry-lubricant, the cause for the familiar gray appearance of MAHLE pistons, is a coating that provides supplemental lubrication of critical areas of the piston until the engine’s oiling system is fully spooled up.
The third line of coatings are of the thermal barrier variety. A line of ceramic-based coatings, these can be applied to the piston’s crown and will reduce heat transfer through the piston, as well as improve resistance to thermal shock. In addition to materials and coatings, MAHLE’s full line of high-performance piston rings are available to support its custom applications.
Then, what is potentially the biggest draw to MAHLE’s custom piston program, is access to their incredible engineering team during the design process. Mahle has a wealth of design knowledge and experience within its walls, which is utilized in the custom piston design process. More than just filling out a spec sheet, the design process is a personal one, with the engineering team ensuring you get what’s correct for your application, not simply something that fits.