Everyone who works on their own car would know the existence of gold heat tape to manage heat under the bonnet. However, how much does gold tape actually do for you?! Readily available on the market, gold reflective heat tape is usually made out of a composite consisting of a polymer-based resin with a glass fibre matrix, topped with a gold reflective foil. It is a cheap and cheerful way to deal with RADIANT HEAT ONLY. These gold heat tapes work by reflecting radiant heat energy that reaches its surface, deflecting it away from areas that might be sensitive to heat.
However, we all know that in engine bays, radiant heat is not the main problem… The other two forms of heat transfer; conduction and convection are actually the two dominant forms to look out for. For example, conduction will occur from components like the engine block, transferring heat to adjacent parts through direct contact such as the intake manifolds. Whereas an example of convection heat transfer would be through air surrounding the heat source, increasing the circulating air temperature, transferring heat energy to nearby components with this convective flow.
The short answer to “does gold heat tape work?” is – yes, but only to a small extent, by reflecting radiant heat only.
Apart from its thermal performance, its ability to withstand high temperatures also depends on the composition of the product in question, making it unsuitable for extremely demanding heat environments. Another challenge is its installation process, in order to achieve optimal adhesion and thermal performance, a tight fit and alignment will require skills and high attention to detail.
So, how do you go about heat conduction and convection?
This is where ZircoFlex® GOLD is on hand to help.
ZircoFlex® GOLD is our flexible ceramic heat shield, integrating our proprietary thermal barrier ceramic coating technology with a reflective gold layer.
ZircoFlex® GOLD tech-specs
- Comprised of an aluminium layer, Zircotec’s proprietary thermal barrier ceramic layer and gold layer
- Heat transfer (convection, conduction) reduced by up to ~85%
- Offers up to 98% infrared reflectivity
- Thin, flexible and lightweight
- Easy to install and cut to any geometry
We offer 3 layers of ceramic thickness, depending on the degree of heat management needed. Check out how the guys at Regal Autosport transformed the unbearable in-cabin temperatures of their BMW E30 race car build with ZircoFlex® GOLD. If you’re looking to mitigate heat issues under the bonnet, be sure to check out both our ZircoFlex® FOIL & GOLD ranges; or get in touch to find out how you can utilise our flexible ceramic heat shield solutions.