What are the Types of Engine Valves?

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Types of Engine Valves:

Besides the characterization of engine valves by function (intake vs exhaust), several specific forms of engine valves exist supported design and materials. The first styles of engine valves include:

  1. Monometallic engine valves
  2. Bimetallic engine valves
  3. Hollow engine valves


Monometallic engine valves:

Monometallic engine valves, as their name implies, are fabricated from one material that forms both the valve stem and valve head. These styles of engine valves provide both high heat resistance and exhibit good anti-friction capabilities.


Bimetallic engine valves:

Bimetallic engine valves, also called bimetal engine valves, are made by joining two different materials together employing a friction welding process to form a valve that has steel on the valve head and martensitic steel for the valve stem. The properties of every one of those steels serve an optimal purpose, wherein the steel on the valve head provides high-temperature resistance and corrosion resistance, and therefore the martensitic steel for the valve stem offers high lastingness and abrasive wear resistance.


Hollow engine valves:

Hollow engine valves are a special bimetallic valve that contains a hollow cavity that’s stuffed with sodium. The sodium liquifies because the valve temperature rises and is circulated by the motion of the valve, which helps dissipate heat from the warmer valve head. The hollow design facilitates greater heat transfer through the stem than with solid valves because the martensitic stem material is a better conductor of warmth than the austenitic head material.

Hollow valves are especially suited to use in modern engines that are delivering more power out of smaller, denser engine designs that have higher exhaust gas temperatures which solid valves aren’t capable of handling. These higher exhaust temperatures are the results of several conditions, including:


  1. A desire for a lean-burn combustion process that reduces gas emissions
  2. Engine designs with higher compression ratios and better combustion pressures provide greater efficiency
  3. Integrated manifold designs that support turbochargers for more engine performance from smaller engines


There are several other kinds of engine valve designs. So-called sleeve valves accommodate a tube or sleeve that sits between the cylinder wall and therefore the piston, and which slide or rotate driven off a camshaft like other engine valves. The movement of the sleeve valve causes ports that are turning over the sleeve to align with corresponding ports within the cylinder wall at different points within the engine cycle, thus functioning as a straightforward engine intake and valve without the complexities of rocker arms and lifters.

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