A coating that enables engineers to specify lighter-weight carbon composite materials for harsh environment applications has received the 2010 Plastic Industry Best Technology Application of the Year Award. Zircotec’s plasma-sprayed zirconia-based coating protects composites from the effects of heat and abrasion in tough operating environments, opening up a new stream of materials to designers that offer performance with a weight advantage. The Zircotec coating, ThermoHold® for composites, is being successfully used in F1 this year to allow 650°C exhaust gases to be routed through the car’s carbon fiber diffuser, but is increasingly finding applications in a range of other sectors from aerospace to carbon composite cycle wheels where it is used as a high-performance braking surface.
“Zircotec is delighted to receive the recognition of such an important award,” said Terry Graham, managing director. “We want to increase awareness of the opportunities our coatings offer to the plastics industry, and this is a fantastic way to start engaging with the sector.”
The coating is applied by the firm using a plasma spray process to a thickness of less than 500 microns. Carbon composite components can be coated with ceramic, aluminum, stainless steel and molybdenum to protect against temperature, wear or a combination of the two. Outside of motorsport applications, the coating is planned to be used on an automobile and in a marine application.
For more information, visit www.zircotec.com