How a Connecting Rod Works

One of the most important features in machinery is the connection rod, because it connects the pistons with the crankshaft. The connection rod links together the movements of both units, even though they differ from one another. The pistons move in a corresponding way whereas the crank turns around an axis in a rotating movement.

Weight and Strength

The connection rod must be of a certain weight because it has an effect on the engine. It if the rod is light, then the engine will be able to move faster and accelerate more quickly. But weight is not the only important thing; the connection rod must be light and strong at the same time. It should be strong enough to resist all forces produced by the engine, as well as the powerful force that the piston creates when it is moving to top dead center. If the connection rod is weak, that force made by the piston can break it in half or pull it out from its place.

When you are going to purchase a new connection rod for an engine, make sure you select the most appropriate one that suits all your needs. Keep in mind that the weight of the piston and the number of revolution per minute (RPM) produced by the engine are important for the connection rod, so make sure that the new connection rod will resist both forces. The ability to resist these two factors is more important than the engine’s power from a connection rod’s point of view.

Material of Connection Rods

The material of a connection rod determines its strength and resistance. More than 60% of all connection rods are I-beam rods made from powdered metal. In order to make a powder metal rod, a mold is needed to contain compressed powder steel (PS) in it. The steel in the mold is then exposed to a very high temperature to melt it and let it solidify into a rod. The process also allows the elements of the steel alloy mix together in such a way that the alloy cannot be heated in an ordinary metallurgical condition. Once it is finished, the powder steel rod will have only a small amount of tension in it, much less than rods made from other metals.

Because of this process, the rod does not need a lot of mechanical finish, so that contributes a lot to its low cost because connection rods are quite inexpensive. You may prefer to buy a powder steel rod because it is has about 20% less weight than a forged steel rod.

If you have an engine and you want to upgrade it in such a way that it produces up to 50% more power and it makes more revolutions per minute, then you should change the connection rod as well. On the other hand, you should replace the connection rod with a stronger one if you want to make the engine work at a higher speed. If your engine makes only a few revolutions per minute, then you should consider buying an H-shaped rod or an I-beam rod that has greater strength than ordinary connection rods.