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Zircotec has developed a low-cost fit-and-forget ceramic coating, offering surface temperature reductions of 125C, for diesel engine applications.

Creating a new ceramic formulation, together with changes to the manufacturing process, has enabled the company to reduce the costs by 50 per cent for its new Performance Diesel product.

The coating is said to provide an attractive option for truck and bus manufacturers challenged by the higher temperatures experienced with new Euro VI emissions regulations and testing methods set to be introduced in late 2013.

Peter Whyman, Zircotec’s sales director, said: ‘Euro VI will require manufacturers to further reduce NOx and particulate matter.

‘There are also changes to the test cycle, including cold start and soak test.

‘During running, engines are running hotter, and in these conditions improved thermal management is likely to help the manufacturers to improve performance and overall engine reliability.

‘This is particularly relevant for some after-treatment systems,’ he added.

Zircotec’s new Performance Diesel coating can be applied to exhausts, turbochargers and plastic heatshields to effectively manage heat, protect other components and help emissions controls systems to work at their optimum.

Whyman continued: ‘From our discussions with engine manufacturers and OEMs, heat management is more crucial with Euro VI.

‘Whether this is for SCR engines where getting the catalyst warm is key or in general terms, the engines are running hotter with heat soak to other components under the engine bay, risking poor reliability.

‘We now have a durable yet cost-effective solution and, unlike some lagging products that require reapplication, we can offer reliability throughout the vehicle’s life,’ he said.

With engine costs rising significantly owing to the addition of emissions equipment to meet the regulations, Zircotec believes its Performance Diesel coating offers OEMs a method to save costs on the whole life of the vehicle.

Whyman said: ‘The use of our Performance Diesel coating can enable engineers to solve existing heat issues without a major redesign of the engine bay as well as offering the opportunity to delete heatshields.

‘As a fit-and-forget solution, whole life costs are lower too,’ he added.

The coating is applied using plasma spraying – in effect welding the coating to the substrate.

It can be applied to most metals as well as many plastics and composites, in the latter preventing delamination.

A bespoke patent-pending process, created by Zircotec, ensures that even plastics are unaffected by the plasma spray process.

The company is already trialling the coating with OEMs and expects results of the testing to be available later this year.

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