Measurements have been made to determine the effect of piston crown surface properties on combustion. Back-to-back engine tests were conducted to compare surface modified pistons to a production piston. Each modified piston was found to prolong combustion duration. Porous coatings and a non porous, roughened piston were observed to increase fuel consumption. Increase in fuel consumption was determined to be the result of increased heat release duration. The data show surface roughness alone affects the duration of heat release. The shift in magnitude of the centroid of heat release was similar to the shift observed in insulated engine experiments.