The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

31 December 2006

Not cubic

But Zirconia, just the same:

Zirconia based coating from Zircotec in the UK will help your vehicle be more durable and powerful. The Zircotec ceramic coating was developed for the nuclear industry and has been proven in automotive applications by several Formula 1 teams. The purpose of the coating is to increase engine efficiency, improve aesthetics and improve thermal management. Older cars don't have the ability to manage the heat generated by their powertrain as effectively as more modern designs. There are also those pesky laws of thermodynamics and physics — a turbocharger housing is going to get bloody hot, no matter what. With a cherry red turbo snail, you'd best make sure anything that can burn or melt is well insulated. Coating parts like exhaust manifolds will improve engine efficiency by keeping the ambient temperature of the engine bay down, a by-product of which is lower intake plumbing temperatures.

And even the most modern designs still produce massive quantities of waste heat. How well does this magic spritz work?

The Zircotec coating is so good at providing a thermal barrier that a motorcycle racing team discovered they could remove exhaust pipes without gloves, while the gases coursing through the pipes were, uh, piping hot.

Now that's impressive. How did these guys get this good? I pulled up their FAQ and found this:

Zircotec now owned by Accentus plc is the new trading name for the surface engineering team divested from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in 1996. We have expertise in a range of coating applications and specialise in thermal spraying of metals and ceramics for orthopaedics, telecommunications, autosport and specialist engineering applications.

The UK used to get about a quarter of its energy from nuclear power; today it's less than 20 percent and dropping.

Posted at 5:36 PM to Driver's Seat , Entirely Too Cool