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Old 10-15-2012, 02:41 PM
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jkilov jkilov is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: MS
Posts: 1,365
I'm no expert but here's what I know: from cheapest to most expensive:

bare cast aluminum cylinder:
+ cheap, good heat dissipation, light, good oil adhesion, easy to re-bore,
- soft, prone to wear from particulate matter, low durability

"kool-bore" cast aluminum cylinder: same as above but with etched bore for somewhat improved durability (still poor)

cast aluminum cylinder with dry iron liner:
+ very good compromise, light, relatively cheap, good oil adhesion, can be re-bored
- thermal conductivity and expansion at joint: goes out-of-round when overheated

cast aluminum cylinder with wet iron sleeve:
+ good compromise, relatively cheap, good oil adhesion, sleeve can be replaced
- sleeve likes to move, sealing problems

cast iron cylinder:
+ very tough and durable, material flaws hardly present, endlessly renewable
- heavy, outside rusts, more expensive to cast (small engines), long warm-up

cold-forged aluminum cylinder:
+ somewhat harder than bare Al, even lighter, compatible with forged pistons
- rarely done, expensive, not much better wear unless coated

chrome plated aluminum cylinder:
+ hard, low wear, light, good heat dissipation, oxidation immune
- poor oil adhesion - usually airborne lubrication, rarely repairable

Nikasil plated aluminum cylinder (nickel aluminum silicate carbide) ? or something ...
+ low wear, light, good heat dissipation, good oil adhesion
- prone to sulfur degradation (poor quality fuel), not repairable (throw-away)

A whole bunch of other liners exist, but that's how far I can reach.
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