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Independent testing conducted by one of the UK’s leading automotive test and development centers has confirmed that the use of advanced flame-sprayed ceramic coatings can reduce heat transfer by up 26.7%, leading to a surface temperature reduction at the exhaust manifold of up to 136ºC. The technology, developed by Zircotec, offers not only benefits to performance and classic car owners looking to reduce heat, but also to new vehicle engineers who struggle to successfully package the increasing number of heat-sensitive components in a restricted space.
The coating was originally developed by the nuclear energy industry and has been used effectively by Formula One and other race teams. The rigorous testing was instigated to demonstrate the effectiveness of the coating on road cars. The company supplies the coating to several OEMs, including Koenigsegg, and is also developing applications for improving catalyst light-off times and the performance of diesel particulate filters, which require exhaust gas temperatures to remain high.
The tests used a 2002 Range Rover V8 gasoline engine fitted with two sets of manifolds, one in standard condition and the other with the zirconia-based coating. The manifolds were encapsulated to simulate underbonnet airflow conditions. Testing was conducted on an engine dynamometer, simulating different driving conditions and road speeds.
The results clearly demonstrate that the Zircotec coated exhaust manifold transmits significantly less heat to its surroundings than the uncoated standard part. The Zircotec manifold reduced heat transfer at all of the different loads and simulated road speeds of 35 and 70 mph. Significantly, for harsher applications, the highest gains were achieved when the loads and speeds were at their highest.
“Zircotec already had test data from motorsport applications,” said Andy McCabe, Zircotec technical director. “Now we have an increasing number of road car projects, as well as classic and performance car users. We wanted to present trusted, independent data, and the results demonstrate how effective the Zircotec solution is in these environments.” Full results of the testing are available by request.
For more information, call (44) 01235-434326, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.zircotec.org.