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In an Otto or Diesel engine, a pot-shaped moving part, which upper part forms an explosion chamber together with a cylinder, inside of which it moves up and down, and a cylinder head which functions as a lid with valves for gases.

It moves inside the cylinder to transform the expansion energy of an exploding gas (usually a mixture of petrol or diesel fuel and air) into mechanical energy (a linear motion). From there it is conveyed through a rod towards a crankshaft, transforming it into a rotational motion, usually driving a gearbox.