Zircotec ceramic coatings are applied via plasma-spray technology and used as a thermal barrier for extremely high temperatures applications. Our ceramic coating’s core function is to improve vehicle performance by reducing surface temperatures of the part, ensuring engine bays are protected from unwanted heat. In turn our coating solutions retain the heat inside the exhaust system, maintaining the exhaust gas flow speed, improving engine performance and efficiency.
In addition to performance improvements, our ceramic coatings also offer several benefits including:
- Lower engine bay temperatures
- Improved engine reliability
- Protection of surrounding components
- Rapid cooling of the exhaust when the engine is turned-off
- Increased part durability through corrosion resistance
- Aesthetics upgrade
Here’s the fun part, we’re now going to bust the 3 most common myths around thermal barrier ceramic coatings.
Myth #1 “The coating is brittle.”
The word “ceramic” is often associated with brittleness, as from a day-to-day perspective ceramics are used in crockery and tiles, which are known to be hard, but can be easily fractured under stress. However, our ceramic coating does not provide a brittle finish, it therefore does not break/fracture easily under stress. Our proprietary ceramic composition is deposited in powder form, through a plasma-flame. The ceramic particles are melted within the plasma flame and propelled towards the substrate (metals or composites).
Both the microstructure of our ceramic coating and the composition is very different to that of other ceramics and ceramic paint finishes. Our ThermoHold® ceramic coating has a highly porous structure which both optimises thermal performance whilst permitting the ceramic to flex with the substrate as is undergoes extreme thermal cycles. The coating is also closely matched to the thermal expansion coefficient of the substrate to help minimize any thermally induced stresses.
Myth #2 “It’s applied by dip-coating.”
Our ceramic coating is often mistaken to be applied by the industrial immersion coating method – often referred to as ‘dip coating’, as it is often the answer to coating complex geometries, and relatively cheaper when used in mass production. However, dip coating would not provide the exact microstructure that’s required for very high temperature uses; and for ceramic compositions to be in molten state, it’d require creating pools of ceramic liquids which would be extremely energy intensive and probably hazardous. Our ceramic coatings are applied via accurate plasma-spray technology, where the ceramic is deposited in a form of powder through a plasma-flame. The ceramic particles are melted and propelled towards the substrate via plasma-flame, which can reach up to 10,000°C. The molten droplets flatten onto the substrate surface, rapidly solidifying to form a layer of coating. One of the biggest advantages of plasma-spraying is the coating durability and longer lifespan when compared to coatings by other methods.
Myth #3 “It loses its thermal barrier performance overtime.”
With our proprietary plasma-spray technology, our coating is in effect ‘welded’ to the substrate, making it a robust ‘fit-and-forget’ installation. Our coating is known to be very durable, with customers using it on both road and track for years on end without a drop in performance! Are our coatings are durable and long-lasting, its thermal barrier performance in turn does not decrease over time when the ceramic powder deposition layers still fully intact, offering ultra-high level thermal performance over a long time. For our customers’ peace of mind, we offer 1-3 years’ guarantee to our customers, depending on the product range and uses (track or road).
Follow our blog posts closely for more myth busting and evidence-based technology for your car / bike, and feel free to contact us to ask us anything!