One of the most common types of engines used is the piston engine. They are among the most popular engines that are sought for cars and other vessels in the United States as well as in other countries. However there are variations in the types of engines that are used in the United States, as some vessels require a rotary engine. To those who are novices in this type of industry, a piston engine and a rotary engine may appear the same, but they are not. There are some distinct differences between them that you should be familiar with. In this article, we will go over some of the differences of the two.

A piston engine, which can also be referred to as a reciprocating engine is a traditional automotive engine which creates a rotating motion by way of utilizing reciprocating pistons. The way this works is that pistons are linked with a cylinder where both air and gas is incinerated. When the mesh of both air and gas is heated, it results in a high pressure that moves the piston, and in turn, results in the crankshaft revolving and pushing the vessel. For the most part, piston engines are often used in cars and even in aircraft because almost all large automakers utilize piston engines.

As for a rotary engine, which can also be known as a wankel engine, these are less frequently sold and used for automotive engines because they are defined by the use of an odd number of cylinders in a radial layout. Rotary engines are, for the most part, smaller, lighter and more space efficient than with piston engines. They are called "rotary engines" because all their parts rotate. In comparison, piston engines have reciprocating pistons that move up and down in the cylinders. That being said, There are some major disadvantages to having a rotary engine that should not be dismissed. For example, rotary engines are hit harder from inefficient fuel economy and generally can use up more fuel while producing less horsepower than piston engines. Rotary engines can also generate more emissions than piston engines because they are more prone to leakage.

On the other hand, rotary engines have fewer moving parts. It's not unusual for a rotary engine to have solely a few number of moving components, whereas a piston engine may have dozens of moving parts. With the existence of additional revolving segments, there is a greater potential for failure on the internal side of the piston engines. Modern automobiles will normally have either a piston engine or a rotary engine. Piston engines have up-and-down moving pistons that convert pressure into rotational motion, whereas rotary engines feature a radial layout with an odd number of cylinders.

Buy Aviation Parts is an online distributor of aircraft parts. If you’re in need of such tools like piston engines or rotary engines, trust in the team at Buy Aviation Parts. At Buy Aviation Parts, we are a trusted distributor for aircraft components and IT hardware parts. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@buyaviationparts.com or simply give us a call at +1 (714) 705-4780.


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The valves in an engine, known simply as engine valves, are designed to balance and control the flow of gasses that come into and out of the cylinders located in the engine. They are intended to regulate the gas levels during the combustion process of the engine. In basic terms, they serve to open and close a portal for air or gas coming in and out of the engine. Depending on the type of vessel the engine is working for, the engine may have one or more valves. Automobile engines, for instance, tend to have two engine valves that are placed for each cylinder. Aircraft engines also tend to have multivalve. 

The cylinders in the engine valves have at least one intake valve and at least one exhaust valve. For the former, the intake valve can regulate the degree of air and fuel mixture that flows through the intake port of the engine and through the cylinder, while the latter permits the exhaust gasses to flow through the exhaust port and away from the cylinder. Fluid like engine fuel can be safely permitted into the engine cylinder through the inlet valve and when closed, the valve seals the combustion space tightly. 
The way that the valves are constructed in an engine are very similar across all engine types. The valves are facing toward the combustion chamber of the cylinder which exposes them more to corrosion, higher temperatures, and high operating stresses. Because they are subject to high stresses, the materials that make up the intake valves have to be made of resistant metals that can withstand these conditions. Because intake valves, for instance, must operate at lower temperatures than the exhaust valves, the former is usually made up of nickel, chrome, or tungsten steel. In contrast, the exhaust valves must withstand higher temperatures, which means that they must be made of a more heat resistant material, like silicon-chromium, cobalt-chromium alloys, or Inconel.

Poppet Valves and the Functions of Different Valve Heads

In regards to the engine valves used for an aircraft, the most commonly used type is called the poppet valve, named as such for the way that it “pops” in action. These types of valves are classified according to the different head shapes, which include the flat head valve, the mushroom head valve, the tulip head valve, and the semi-tulip head valve. As there is not one engine valve that fits all, these different heads each fit with different types of aircraft engines. The flat head valve, for instance, has the flat head for the purpose of suiting exclusively the intake valves of aircraft engines. Meanwhile the other heads suit the valves that have the other corresponding fitting, with the semi-tulip valve’s concave head fitting the intake valves with a semi-tulip form. The tulip head valve has a deep, wide indented area on its head that fits with intake valves that have a wide indented space, while the mushroom head valve has a convex head that is not typically found on aircraft engines. 
There are many different types of engine valves, but the ones mentioned in this article are among the most common in the market. If you are in need of acquiring any such parts, you can find them at Buy Aviation Parts and have them delivered to you promptly. 
At Buy Aviation Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find engine valves as well as their counterparts such as mushroom, tulip, semi tulip valves and more for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@buyaviationparts.com or call us at +1-920-785-6790.

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