- Our highly trained masking technicians mask areas that doesn’t require coating, for example, threads, mating facings, slip joints, etc. to avoid any interference where parts join. Once these surfaces are masked, they will not be subject to our surface-prep and ceramic coating processes.
- For our ceramic coating to properly deposit onto the substrate, everything that requires coating arrives in our surface preparation process. We utilise media blasting to appropriately key the surface, as well as remove any paint, rust, and other contaminants from the surface to properly bond the substrate and the coating.
Plasma-Applied Ceramic Coating
- Our high-performance ceramic composition is deposited in the form of powder. Whereby the ceramic particles are melted and propelled towards the substrate via plasma-flame. Plasma flame temperatures can reach up to approx. 10,000°C, one of the main reasons it can’t be a DIY home project. Here, the molten droplets flatten, and they rapidly solidify to form a deposit that remains adherent to the substrate as coatings. This process has been refined by Zircotec since the first use of the technology in the 70s within the Nuclear Industry. Through extensive R&D with our Automotive OEM & Motorsport partners, we have developed our own proprietary spray parameters for application characteristics such as feed rate, gas composition, powder composition, flow rate, etc. These parameters are adapted for various specifications and applications, offering the best solutions for different needs.
- After ceramic coating, the parts are sent to our industrial oven for curing. Our oven curing process sets the coating by fusing/bonding it onto the substrate. Parts are typically cured for an 8 hour-cycle.
Polymer Applied Ceramic Coating Process
- Our polymer ceramics undergoes the exact same masking and surface preparation process as described above; however it is not applied with thermal spraying. Our polymer ceramics is deposited with professional equipment such as spray gun, air compressor, etc. to create a stable bond between the substrate and coating. Parameters such as air pressure, coating composition, spraying atmosphere are monitored closely to achieve the desired surface finish and thicknesses. Our polymer applied ceramic coatings are typically cured in a high air-flow environment for an 8 hour-cycles.
Both our Plasma-Applied and Polymer Ceramic Coatings are tested to OEM standard finishes, whereby they are proven to function at extremely high temperatures – far higher than those found in ICE engine components. Their application processes are carried out by professionally trained technicians and alongside with the required PPE, further reinforcing that this level of finish cannot be achieved on a DIY basis.
Our stringent processes ensures that our coatings continue to perform as the market leader as a thermal barrier solution. Aiding in surface temperature reductions, corrosion resistance as well as to improved performance output.
The ‘science’ behind VHT (Very High Temperature) Paint
The application of VHT requires no extensive surface preparation, only cleaning is required to remove grease/wax off the components. Without prior surface preparation, other contaminants such as rust (that isn’t just on the top surface), previous surface treatment residues, etc. This doesn’t create a good quality substrate for mechanical bonding. Hand spraying of VHT requires very specific temperatures and humidity to ensure even deposition, which again is not practical when it comes to DIY.
As explained above, without the spray being ‘bonded’ to the substrate as it is only an ‘applied-on-top’ paint, we have had many customers coming to us after attempting a more budgeted option themselves at home, but only to have the VHT failing after one use. We have had VHT-treated parts coming in with paint chipping, cracking, rusting or just paint coming off the parts on your hand when being touched. VHT unfortunately seems like a cheaper and easier option, BUT, we have had so many customers coming to us after giving VHT a go themselves. Especially after a few uses of their car/bike, the paint finish can’t stand the high temperatures that the vehicles operate at.