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Optimised performance in high-temperature environments


The Zircotec Performance Colours range of 14 coloured ceramic coatings can be applied to components, such as exhaust manifolds and turbo housings, to offer customisation as well as providing a thermal barrier that offers significant reductions in underbonnet temperatures up to 33%. The process uses a derivative of Zircotec’s proven Thermohold® ceramic coating in combination with a multi-layer ceramic paint finish in a choice of colours. These coatings are designed to offer the ultimate in thermal barrier performance whilst also providing an attractive finish that is durable and easy to maintain. When applied to an exhaust system, the Zircotec coating inhibits the transfer of heat from the surface of the material, holding the temperature within the exhaust gas, protecting nearby components and finishes, and offering a significant reduction in external temperature. By using a plasma-sprayed ceramic base, Zircotec has created a process that protects the coloured surface from the effects of heat, reducing the potential for discoloration and damage. Zircotec has proven the new product through an extensive programme of product testing and validation, replicating more than 100,000 miles of road use and simulating lifetime manifold temperatures of 900 ºC. The durable Zircotec’s zirconia-based ceramic ensure impact and scratch resistance, whilst thermal shock resistance has been tested through repeated cycling from 500 ºC to immersion in a bath of cold water (at 20 ºC).


Very poor thermal management

Desmond J. Smail, one of Europe’s leading specialists in exceptional classic Aston Martins, is already using the technique. “Most classic cars have very poor thermal management from new,” explains Desmond Smail. “Our customers today don’t want to be cooked by exhaust manifolds close to the scuttle or have the finish of their rebuilt engine ruined by heat within a few thousand miles. They also expect reliability equivalent to modern vehicles, so components and fuel systems have to be protected from the heat of the engine. The Zircotec coating has proved extremely effective at addressing all of these issues.”


Its aesthetic qualities

Smail also points out that the plasma sprayed ceramic coating is often chosen just for its aesthetic qualities. “In its natural state it looks like period asbestos paint, but of course it lasts many times longer making it ideal for competition cars. For road cars, we usually specify a silver finish that matches the engineering quality of the DB series,” he says. “We have found Zircotec to be a very professional business, managed by people who genuinely care about quality and service. They are a great supplier for a specialist in high quality, high performance restorations.” Manifolds are one of several components that can be coated, helping to protect classic cars from the effects of excessive heat.


The Zircotec process

The zirconia-based ceramics have a thermal conductivity of less than 1.7 W/m K, so provide an excellent thermal barrier. When applied to an exhaust system the Zircotec coating inhibits the radiation of heat from the surface of the material, holding the heat inside. The coating can also be applied to other components including heat shields and carbon composites.

We have developed a range of ultra high performance thermal barrier coatings that are specifically designed to prevent unwanted heat loss from engine exhaust system components; exhaust manifolds, exhaust headers, turbocharger casings, exhaust system down pipes, hot engine components, tailpipes and any areas where heat is a problem. All of our coatings utilise Zircotec’s proprietary Thermohold® technology and are applied using our own in-house highly optimised plasma-spray process, first developed in the UK nuclear power industry. Formulated from selected ceramic materials, Zircotec’s thermal barrier coatings contain >99% by weight of pure ceramic. Our coatings are applied to a typical thickness of just over 300µm (.012”), which is more than ten times the normal thickness of a paint, and our coatings do not contain the binders and fillers that are necessarily present in paints. Our coatings are therefore unique and can only be offered by Zircotec. With plasma-spray process temperatures approaching 10,000 ºC (18,000 ºF) the ceramic coating material is melted within our process and propelled towards the component being coated. There, the molten ceramic droplets flatten, cool and then solidify to weld themselves in place. Our exhaust coatings are therefore extremely well adhered to the underlying component, providing an extremely hard, lightweight yet durable ceramic coating that is highly resistant to vibration, mechanical damage and thermal shock, and protects the underlying component from corrosion. New coatings are put through rigorous product testing before being included in our range.


Product Guarantee

Zircotec will at its discretion provide either a replacement coating, or perform a repair. all other costs made are not covered by the Product Guarantee. Therefor Zircotec, nor Classic Car Parts Helden are not liable for any costs incurred.