Heat management specialist Zircotec has secured its biggest ever single contract, to supply an ultra-durable ceramic coating for the exhaust tail pipes of an unnamed, premium European supercar. The GB£1m (US$1.23m) contract is for Zircotec’s Ultimate Range of coatings, which has been specified to protect nearby carbon fibre components from heat whilst providing a long lasting cosmetic finish that has been developed to suit vehicle styling requirements.
"Our Ultimate Range was developed to provide the maximum resistance to corrosion, stone chips and general wear and tear. It will continue to look good year after year, protecting surrounding panels and paintwork from high temperatures,” explained Zircotec Group Sales Director Graeme Barette. “Maintaining the long-term appearance of the tail pipe without the usual deterioration has a disproportionate effect on a car’s cosmetics, helping to prolong the showroom fresh look and distinguishing a premium vehicle from a more mainstream product.”
The components will be shipped from the specialist exhaust manufacturer to Zircotec’s technical facility in Oxfordshire, UK, where the patented ceramic based coating is applied. The parts are quality checked to the customer’s standards and shipped directly to the vehicle manufacturer for installation.
Because Zircotec’s ceramic coatings are plasma-sprayed, using a proprietary process originally developed for the nuclear industry, they are more strongly adherent than any painted finish. The coating is in effect “welded” in place, providing an effective thermal barrier as well as a cosmetically durable surface. Zircotec’s Ultimate Range coating is available in a range of colours and surface textures.
To ensure consistently high quality across a large production run, Zircotec has further evolved its advanced automated manufacturing processes. This has also led to increased efficiency, with shorter lead times, greater productivity and lower unit costs.
"Having seen our successful previous applications on limited volume vehicles, the bigger manufacturers are now recognising the advantages of Zircotec coatings," concluded Barette. "The increase in demand, coupled with our expanded capacity to deliver series production quantities, has made our Ultimate Range one of the fastest growing part of our business."
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