Give your hot rod the gift of... Zirconia

No ersatz diamonds here, but the Zirconia based coating from Zircotec in the UK will help your vehicle be more durable and powerful. The Zircotec ceramic coating was developed for the nuclear industry and has been proven in automotive applications by several Formula 1 teams. The purpose of the coating is to increase engine efficiency, improve aesthetics and improve thermal management. Older cars don't have the ability to manage the heat generated by their powertrain as effectively as more modern designs. There are also those pesky laws of thermodynamics and physics – a turbocharger housing is going to get bloody hot, no matter what. With a cherry red turbo snail, you'd best make sure anything that can burn or melt is well insulated. Coating parts like exhaust manifolds will improve engine efficiency by keeping the ambient temperature of the engine bay down, a by-product of which is lower intake plumbing temperatures. Turbocharged engines will also see a performance increase. The turbine is driven by the expansion of exhaust gas as it cools, and keeping the heat in the exhaust stream allows the turbos to spool harder. Engine blocks and intake manifolds also see benefits when coated, due to better insulation.

The Zircotec coating is so good at providing a thermal barrier that a motorcycle racing team discovered they could remove exhaust pipes without gloves, while the gasses coursing through the pipes were, uh, piping hot. The Zircotec coating sounds like it's well-suited to keeping your vintage sports car from cooking you, or making sure that the 502 you stuffed in your Chevette doesn't blister the paint on the quarter panels due to heat coming off the headers. We'd love to try it out and see for ourselves. No longer burning our fingerprints off on the hot parts underhood sounds like it might be worth the shipping.

More photos after the jump.


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