The most common bore surface is a simple bore in Cast Iron block, Cast Iron sleeve pressed in aluminium block, or Nikasil plated bore in aluminium block.
- Cast iron block - cheap, simple, long life, but heavy. Used for cars, stationary engines, trains, ships...
- Aluminium block / Nikasil plate - light weight, cheap enough, used on motorbikes, mopeds, chain saw.. But won't last for too long, maintenance requires rebore, replate..
- Aluminium block / cast iron sleeve - Light weight, high resistance to high performance, long life. But more expensive.
Other parts of combustion chamber are the top of a piston, which is aluminium, and cylinder head, which can be aluminium or cast iron (don't think it is still in production). The valves - hardened steel or titanium.
For a quick build, as a first engine with no purpose I would build it out of available mild steel and aluminium, using a lathe and a pillar drill :) In fact Lawnmower engine lasts for at least 5 years with no maintenance, and it is 4-stroke, flat head engine with no bearings, no cast iron sleeves, no special materials, no oil pumps, no proper cooling system. Main bearing is just a bore in a block, cam-shaft is a steel shaft with a plastic gear and plastic cams. And it lasts forever! I modified my cam-shaft, I ground off the cams, made steel cams looking like asymmetric washers, put them on the shaft, timed for a racing spec, and welded, and the rest corrected with a file. So my Lawnmower sounds like a racing dirtbike now for last 3 years. And still works!