What are the advantages of cast pistons versus forged pistons? Learn why high-boost, high-horsepower modifications lend themselves to the more-expensive and typically much stronger forged pistons. Also, hear why hypereutectic pistons are a nice mid-level compromise between cast and forged pistons and can help you run tighter tolerances. Check it out.

Today I am going to answer your questions about pistons.

The most common question we hear regarding pistons centers around piston material. Basically, what is the difference between a cast and forged piston? Well, the difference mainly lies within the manufacturing process.

With a cast piston, you basically melt down aluminum or alloy and then poor it into a mold and quickly cool it. With a forged piston, they start with a lump of aluminum or alloy and then stamp the piston directly out of that material.

So what are the advantages to each? Well, a cast piston is generally more affordable, lighterweight and often plenty ample for street applications. A forged piston is typically much stronger than a cast piston, and we recommend those for a high-horsepower or higher-rpm application. So when exactly do you need to step up to a forged piston? There really isn’t a threshold you need to cross in order to step up to a forged piston but if you are going be running high boost, high rpm or high horsepower on your engine, your definitely going to want to err on the side of caution and step up to a forged piston.

Another question we hear quite often is what are hypereutectic pistons and how do they differ from cast pistons? Hypereutectic pistons are a nice mid-level compromise between cast and forged pistons. During the casting process, a silicon mix is added to the molten aluminum before cooling. This silicon gives the pistons increased strength and improved thermal characteristics so there is not as much thermal expansion during engine operation. This allows you to run much tighter tolerances. If you have a question regarding pistons or any other high performance related topic, please feel free to a question in the comment section below.

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.