We often receive phone calls and messages enquiring about our various exhaust ceramic coatings and heat shields, and the process we use. In this section, you can find answers to frequently asked questions from our customers. If your query is not answered here, you can email us at enquiries@zircotec.com.

If you’re looking for exhaust ceramic coatings for a kit car, a scale RC car or anything else that isn’t car or motorcycle related, we will try our best to assist you in coating it. Our experience is extensive and our team of engineers and advisors will do their best to offer you the best ceramic coating solution available.

Can I get a ZircoFlex sample?

We offer samples via our online shop. There are a number of sized samples available for purchase.

What materials can you apply ceramic coatings to?

We apply our ceramic coating to most types of metals including; stainless steel, mild steel, cast iron, aluminium and titanium. We do also have a ceramic coating that we can apply to carbon composite, fibre glass and some plastics.

Are you able to apply ceramic coating to used parts?

Yes! We are capable of working with both new and used parts, even if they are badly corroded.

Will I need to prepare the surface myself before the coating is applied?

No! Cleaning and surface preparation is an integral part of our process, and this includes grit blasting for all metal parts to remove rust, paint and other debris. Both new and used parts follow the same process.

Do I need to protect the areas that I don't want to be coated?

No! Our technicians use specialist materials to protect surfaces that aren’t to be coated. They will automatically protect flange surfaces, slip joints, bolt holes etc. If there are any other areas that you don’t want coated you can identify these parts with a marker pen or alternatively send us a sketch.

What is the normal turnaround time?

Our standard turnaround time is 10 working days. However we do have premium options available which can be discussed before we deliver a quote.

Do you service the UK only, or can you service international orders?

We work for customers worldwide.

How much does it cost?

Our ceramic coating solutions are competitively priced when you factor in longevity, fitting time, performance and aesthetics. To get a price for your project you will need to speak to one of our specialists who will be able to provide a bespoke quote dependent on your requirements. You can call, email or chat online, or visit us onsite to discuss your requirements.

What colours are available?

The premium finish offered for Motorsport offer is Performance White™, but we can also apply a range of colour finishes to suit your requirements. To view these colours visit out Performance Colours™ page.

What's the difference between Performance White™, Performance Colours™ and the Primary Range™?

These are all different formulations of our ceramic coating. Performance White™ is our ultra-high performance ceramic coating, that is primarily used within motorsport. It is a creamy white colour and is slightly absorbent, therefore can get dirty. Our Performance Colours™ have the same levels of performance as Performance White™ but are available in 14 different colours. Their surface is sealed and is therefore less likely to stain. Our Primary Range™ offers a little less performance and is only available in matte black finish.

How can I pay?

We accept payment by all major credit cards or bank transfer. You can also split the cost up into affordable, regular installment payments via Klarna. We would not start any work until we have received cleared funds into our account.

How do I open an account?

If you’re a business and use our service on a regular basis, you can apply for a trade account. If this is of interest, please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements further.

Can I visit your site and bring my parts in for coating?

Yes! Customers are always welcome to visit us to drop off or collect their parts. You can also seek face-to-face advice on a specific project with our experts, or simply come to take a look at our products. We have samples of all our coatings on display to help customers choose the most appropriate finish for their project. Our customer / trade counter opens weekdays from 8.30am to 5pm (4pm on a Friday).

Do you attend exhibitions?

Yes! We attend a number of exhibitions throughout the year. Check out our News Page or follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to keep up to speed with all things Zircotec.

Do you sub-contract coating work?

No. We do not sub-contract coating work due to the specialist nature of the process. Our coatings are unique and can only be offered by Zircotec.

What is plasma-spraying?

Zircotec’s plasma spraying process is a highly specialised high temperature industrial process that we developed and first used within the UK Nuclear Industry. We use an electric arc to produce high temperatures ~10,000oC (18,000oF) in a control gas. We use this heat to melt the coating material and immediately spray this melt onto the component that is to be coated. We control the overall system so that when the spray hits the surface it solidifies and in effect “welds” itself to the surface.

Is the Zircotec ceramic coating available in a tin/can, e.g. as a paint?

No. Our ceramic coating is a near pure solid ceramic material that is melted within our process at very high temperatures. It can only be applied by Zircotec and is simply not a paint.

Can I apply the coating myself?

No. Our coatings can only be applied by using highly specialist plant equipment, and involve our own proprietary processes and materials. These coatings can only be applied by Zircotec.

How thick is your ceramic coating?

Our coating has a thickness of ~0.3mm (.012″).

How does Zircotec's Plasma-Applied Ceramic Coatings compare to ceramic paints?

Paints designed for use at high temperature will often have a ceramic filler content (up to 30%) to help extend the life of the paint and protect any pigments present. These paints are mostly used for aesthetics or for corrosion protection. They do offer limited thermal barrier performance, though this performance is seriously compromised by the limited amount of ceramic present, the formulation of the ceramic used, and the thickness to which a paint can be applied. There are a number of these paints on the market alongside a number of companies that will apply such paints to customer parts, normally by dipping or spray painting. These products are sometimes marketed as “liquid ceramic materials” and should not be confused with Zircotec’s ceramic coatings.

Can anyone else do a coating similar to yours?

No! All of our coatings are based on our proprietary ThermoHold® formulation and are therefore only available from Zircotec. There are a number of companies offering paint based products, but these are primarily intended for aesthetics and offer only minimal thermal barrier performance. These products are very different to Zircotec’s coatings. There are also some companies offering what they call “mag-zirc” or “plasma spray” coatings, but these materials and the processes involved are not the same as those used by Zircotec. They fail to match the thermal performance and longevity of Zircotec’s coatings.

Which parts of my exhaust systems can be ceramic coated?

We can apply our ceramic coatings to any part of your exhaust system; including exhaust manifolds and headers, exhaust pipes, turbochargers and their associated pipes, catalyst boxes and tailpipes. Check out our applications page for more info.

Do you coat turbochargers?

Yes! We coat a significant number of turbochargers, together with their associated hot-side piping.

Will your ceramic coatings help protect against corrosion?

Yes! Our coating does help guard against corrosion, particularly in the case of our Performance Colours™ range and Primary Range™.

Can you coat the inside of my exhaust?

We only apply our ceramic coatings to the external surfaces. This is because the conditions inside an exhaust manifold are extreme with gas at temperatures in excess of 1,000oC, pulsing gas flow of more than 20m/sec, large pressure and temperature variations, significant vibration and thermal stress. It is impossible to prepare the internal surfaces of a pipe or manifold for these conditions. With such arduous operating conditions we fear that these products can easily become detached, causing serious damage to downstream components such as turbochargers and catalysts. Furthermore, these products narrow the flow channels and can restrict flow, giving rise to reduced engine performance. Our recommendation is that you limit coating to just the external surfaces. You might consider polishing the internals to avoid any rough edges or corners, but our technical experts really do not advise putting any form of coating on the inside of an exhaust manifold or exhaust system.

What temperature reductions can I expect with a coated exhaust?

Our Performance White™ & Performance Colours Range™ offers typical surface temperature reductions of 33%. This has a major impact on the amount of heat escaping into the engine compartment, and on the temperature of components close to the exhaust. Our ceramic coating has been demonstrated to reduce general under-bonnet temperatures by up to 50oC (122oF).

Will your ceramic exhaust coating improve performance?

Engine performance is improved in a number of ways. Our coating reduces engine bay temperatures, and can therefore help reduce air intake temperature. A drop in intake air temperature of just 30°C can deliver a 6% increase in power (or increased engine efficiency, leading to less fuel usage). In some race applications, customers have carried out independent tests where our coating has demonstrated a reduction in engine compartment temperatures by as much as 50°C, giving a potential 10% increase in power. By keeping the exhaust gases hot, they flow more easily through the exhaust and this aids cylinder scavenging. This benefits all engine types, though the effect is potentially most pronounced for 2-stroke engines. Keeping heat in the exhaust gas allows turbochargers to spool up more quickly making turbocharged engines more responsive.

What other parts of my car or bike can you apply coatings to?

We are often asked to apply our ceramic coating to inlet manifolds and to inlet side piping, either for further performance gain or for aesthetics. We are also willing to coat other engine parts where there is a heat issue, or want a more aesthetically pleasing finish.

How does your ceramic coating compare with exhaust wrap?

The findings carried out by a third party organisation showed the performance to be similar when the exhaust wrap is new. However the wrap quickly deteriorates with use, both in terms of performance and appearance, and needs to be replaced on a regular basis. By comparison, the performance of our coating is unchanged and will continue to look good for a long time. Our coating is in effect a “fit and forget” solution.

How do I clean the coating?

You can clean the coating with a damp cloth, using a light detergent if desired. You should not use abrasive or chemical cleaners. You should also be aware that our Performance White™ coating may become stained with use. This does not affect its performance. However if aesthetics are important to you we strongly recommend choosing one of our Performance Colours™ Range.

Can coatings be used on Classic Cars?

Yes! Our coatings offer an aesthetically pleasing finish, often similar in appearance to the original factory finish. The coatings reduce exhaust temperatures and engine compartment temperatures, thereby helping to protect vulnerable components from heat, reducing the likelihood of fuel evaporation in carburetors, and improving reliability. Our coatings can compensate for the impact of modern fuels on classic car engines.

I have been told I should not use exhaust wrap with my stainless steel manifold because it might corrode or even crack. Is this also true for your ceramic coating?

Here at Zircotec we have coated a significant number of stainless steel manifolds and exhaust parts without experiencing any problem. Our technical specialists confirm that stainless steel can corrode very quickly under certain conditions, although Zircotec’s coatings serve to protect against this type of corrosion or cracking. Unprotected stainless steel can suffer very rapid intergranular corrosion in poorly controlled welds or where the material of construction is poor quality. There is also a little known phenomena called chloride stress corrosion cracking by which highly stressed parts, including those made of stainless steel can undergo extremely rapid attack by chloride. This effect can be so pronounced that the stainless steel parts will appear to have just rotted away. The worry here is that the materials used in exhaust wrap can often contain chlorides, and these can be released when the exhaust wrap gets hot. Furthermore, many chemical cleaners and road contaminants that might get trapped in exhaust wrap do also contain chloride materials. In view of this, our technical specialists advise that exhaust wrap should not be used on stainless steel manifolds or exhaust systems.

How do I get my parts to you?

You can send parts to us using any standard courier service, or phone us and let us arrange this on your behalf. Alternatively you can bring your parts to us yourself. Contact us for more info.

How long will the coating last?

Our ceramic coatings have been tested to simulate 100,000 miles of road use, and are intended to be “fit and forget”. We are sufficiently confident in the life of our ceramic coating that we offer a 3 year unlimited mileage guarantee for our Performance White™ coating and all of our Performance Colours™ Range; reduced to 1 year if the vehicle is used on a race track

Will the coating cause higher temperatures in my cylinder head?

No! Almost all of the heat that passes into the exhaust manifold is being carried away from the cylinder head by the hot exhaust gas. It is this hot gas that heats the exhaust manifold and exhaust system. Coating the manifold simply reduces the amount of heat escaping from the manifold and exhaust system, so more heat stays in the exhaust gas and this heat is transferred further along the exhaust system.

If we haven’t answered your question, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!