A forging is still the best way to manufacture a piston, not just from a production point of view but for the strength of the piston. There are certain areas where a piston machined from solid is marginally better than a forging but the strength benefits of a forging far outweigh any benefits of a fully machined piston. You get excellent grain structure when a piston is forged correctly, the way we do it. In a fully machined piston you don’t get any true grain flow structure as you are using the material as it is cut from the bar. When you forge the material you create optimal molecular alignment within the material and this is what gives the piston its strength.

In our experience we have found that the people who are promoting fully machined pistons cannot offer forgings, it is much easier and cheaper to buy a machine with 3D capabilities than it is to buy and set up a forging plant, then there is the experience and skill required to create the perfect forging, it isn't easy, this is the reason they are saying “fully machined is the best”, they can’t offer the best so they say that their way is the best.

3D Machining (Billet Pistons)


The advantage of having pistons made using 3D machining is that the customer can try various configurations before we make any forging tooling. This means that when the final design is achieved, we can make a "no compromise" forging tool. If a forging tool is made first, and then design and development continues, the customer may end up with a less than ideal forging with regards to thickness and weight, which then requires further tooling to be made, again at extra cost.

Though costly at first, 3D prototyping is the best policy in the long term, especially for "cutting edge" development of leading race engines where in the initial stages many changes are usually needed. Due to the lack of optimum grain structure of a piston produced this way, along with various other factors, fatigue life is somewhat reduced.
It is therefore recommended that they are only used for development work and not in very high stress racing applications such as Formula 1, GP Motorcycle racing etc. Having said that, we can make one off sets of pistons, this way if we feel that the stresses imposed are not going to be detrimental to the life of the component. This makes an ideal solution for small quantity batches of pistons for lower performance applications where we do not have a suitable forging available.





All forging, casting and machining is processed in-house to ensure that the highest standards are maintained. Omega’s in house heat treatment plant ensures the optimum molecular grain structure and the highest possible strength for the particular material being used.
Pistons can be produced in various alloys according to the design and application specifications, the most common material is 2618A aerospace alloy.
Various low friction piston skirt coatings are also available for the customer to specify, this gives the piston that extra edge in competition.

Skirt profiles


The eliptical profile turning lathe that produces the ovality and vertical profile on the piston skirt easily affords repeatability within ± .005mm (.0002") and normally produces a repeatability factor of ± .002mm (.000078") on diameter. We always work in close conjunction with the customer to develop these critical profiles and, because of our experience in this field excellent running results are achieved initially and only occasionally are very minor changes required to suit a particular engine's idiosyncrasies.




  Christian Iddon Sponsorship
Omega Pistons are proud to sponsor Christian Iddon in this years British Superbike Championship.
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  Jan O. Pedersen Sponsorship
Omega Pistons are proud to be the official sponsors of the Jan O. Pedersen Speedway Academy.
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