The Piston is a Vital Component of Reciprocating Engines
The invention of the pistonis widely credited to French physicist, Denis Papin in 1690 AD. His design for a steam piston engine was built upon by later inventors like Thomas Newcomen and James Watt during the 18th Century.
Its invention, along with other advancements in steam engine technology, would mark the ‘true’ beginning of the industrial revolution.
Pistons tend to be contained within a cylinder that is made air-tight by use of piston rings. In modern engines, the piston serves to transfer force from expanding gas in the cylinder into reciprocating motion on a crankshaft.
This process is effectively reversed when applied to pumps.
Today pistons are essential components in many reciprocating engines, pumps, compressors and other similar devices.