2013-03-14 12:27:16 - Zircotec’s Ultimate Range™ protects and improves aesthetics of OEM tailpipes at OEM volumes
OXFORD – Vehicle manufacturers seeking easy to implement methods of differentiating vehicle models now have the option of durable aesthetic ceramic coatings for exhaust finishers and tailpipes. Available in a wide range of colours including a gloss black, Zircotec’s Ultimate Range™ is a new OEM standard coating that, thanks to the introduction of new tooling and increased mechanisation, can be offered in higher volumes.
“Car manufacturers are always seeking methods that allow them to create differentiated versions that don’t require costly tooling changes or expensive validation tests,” says Zircotec’s sales director Peter Whyman. “Aftermarket paints don’t meet OEM standards for longevity, meaning this line of customisation has often been dismissed. Our new Ultimate Range™ formulation and increased capacity enables Zircotec to
offer a range of attractive customised tailpipe coatings to mainstream OEMs. Our specialist ceramic tailpipe coatings are already being used for a number of supercar applications, both as a standard fitment and as part of customer option packs. We expect our new range to result in yet more take up.”
The durability, withstanding lifetime hot/cold temperature cycling and an OEM pressure wash test is achieved through the custom plasma spray application process. As opposed to painting, Zircotec applies molten ceramic powder onto the substrate at around 12,000°C, in effect welding it to the base metal. This method offers considerably higher resistance to chipping and flaking. Unsightly corrosion around the tailpipe, a common site even on nearly new cars is minimised thanks to the proprietary nickel-based bond coat.
In addition to the aesthetic advantages offered, the thermal insulation properties of zirconia-based ceramic finishes provide protection for surrounding trim parts and reduce the risk of burns when leaning into the boot at the rear of the car. “Centrally-mounted tailpipes can easily be touched and cause harm when accessing the rear of the car for example,” claims Whyman. “Zircotec’s coatings can reduce surface temperatures but up to 30 percent.”
Zircotec www.zircotec.com offers a wide range of plasma sprayed ceramic and metallic coatings that protect components against the effects of heat, wear, abrasion and corrosion. Lightweight and easily packaged, Zircotec’s technologies can be applied to a broad range of different materials including metals and composites. Proven in F1 and the nuclear industry, the technology is now trusted by car manufacturers, industrial users, car enthusiasts and an increasing range of other applications to effectively manage heat and wear, enhancing performance and reliability. ZircoFlex™ offers for the first time, a truly flexible ceramic coating whilst the newest development is Liquid Black™, a gloss, enamel-like heat resistant finish.