On the top of the piston, you’ll find three or four grooves cast into the metal. Inside the grooves piston rings are put in. The piston rings are the part that actually touch the walls of the cylinder. They are made from iron and come in two varieties: compression rings and oil rings. The compression rings are the top rings and they press outward on the walls of the cylinder to provide a strong seal for the combustion chamber. The oil ring is the bottom ring on a piston and it prevents oil from the crankcase from seeping into the combustion chamber. It also wipes excess oil down the cylinder walls and back into the crankcase.
The group found that using the waste heat with optimal controls consistently delivered higher oil temperatures and significantly reduced warm-up times. This translated to fuel economy improvements of almost 4% compared to conventional thermal management strategies. The largest efficiency gains occur while heating oil from a cold start, and approximately half of the improvement comes from the powertrain and transmission sides.
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