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Zircotec is continually finding new applications for its high temperature coatings, heat barriers and thermal management services.  Please find all the latest news about new developments and events that Zircotec is attending...

New Zircotec coating preventing EMI wins industry award

25th October 2014

Zircotec's work in developing a new plasma-sprayed coating that paves the way for increasing the use of lighter and more efficient materials in electronic applications has been recognised by the industry.


It has just been announced that the coating has received the 2014 Innovation in Materials Award from the trade body for the UK composites industry, Composites UK. Zircotec's durable coating offers a considerably lighter solution than resorting to metal shields to protect the rising number of electronic systems housed in composite enclosures from electromagnetic interference (EMI).


Zircotec will be presented with the award at a ceremony to be held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on November 11th.


   Zircotec ceramic coating prevents EMI & wins award

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can interrupt or degrade signals of transmitted data. Issues range from being simply a nuisance through to catastrophic failure that mandates legislation in sectors including automotive, aerospace and defence. With a rising number of engineers looking to make use of the lighter weight properties of composites in such applications, Zircotec's coating offers a robust solution without adding the weight penalty of using metal shields.


"The judges recognised the technical excellence behind the innovation along with the benefits the product will bring to both the composites industry and end-user sectors," says Dr Sue Haliwell, Operations Manager at Composites UK. "Engineers want to use composites for housing electronics but their poor EMC performance has held this back and having to add a metal shield takes away all the weight advantages," says Zircotec's Managing Director Terry Graham. "Zircotec's range of plasma-sprayed coatings now offers electronics engineers a solution to minimise EMI and can be applied to composites, both thermosetting and thermoplastic components such as junction boxes and interface units. The material is highly durable and chemically resistant. As a coating it takes up considerably less space, another advantage sought in the high performance applications now turning to composites."


Zircotec's EMC coating is already in use within motorsport, driven by a surge in electric hybrid powertrains, and is likely to transfer to similar applications within the automotive sector. The Abingdon based firm is now discussing applications for the new coating in future defence, aerospace and marine applications with projects set to start in the next 12 months.

Goodwood Revival sees Zircotec coated classics compete

15th September 2014


Last weekend saw the World famous Goodwood Revival where priceless classic and sports racing cars compete at the timewarp venue.


With a warm weekend gratefully received by the massive crow that turned out for the event once again and cars pushed well beyond levels they ever were in period, the need for Zircotec's products to manage the effects of heat on these irreplaceable vehicles was as high as it has ever been.

  Nick Mason's Zircotec coated Ferrari 250 GTO

One of the many cars at the event relying on Zircotec is Nick Mason’s Ferrari 250 GTO, competing in the headlining TT Celebration. The car has both ZircoFlex® and ThermoHold® technology to prevent the star drivers from suffering from the effects of heat in the long distance race.  You can read more about our work with Nick Mason’s Ten Tenths team here.


There were also many more cars using Zircotec technology in the saloon car and Shelby Cup V8 races where Zircotec customers Mike Jordan of the BTCC champions and Zircotec partners Pirtek Honda and Josh Sadler of Autofarm took part.


Mike Jordan owns a fantastic original Ford GT40 which he uses to compate in classic GT racing. The GT40 beefits from being equipped with Zircotec to help keep things running cool and to prevent overheating. Josh Sadler's Autofarm have an enviable reputation as the UK's foremost Porsche specialists. Josh and his team regularly come to Zircotec for our ceramic coatings to maintain the performance and prevent heat damage of the classic 911s and other wonderful models from the classic German marque that they look after and restore.  

Zircotec's coatings are now afloat

8th August 2014


Zircotec's thermal management solutions are now providing a much needed heat reduction for one of a new breed of racing super powerboat. The huge power output of the dual engines had until, the arrival of the Zircotec ceramic coating, been producing an incredible amount of power-sapping heat. Not any more


Most people know that Zircotec is a leader in thermal barrier technology on the road and track but did you know we can also protect on water too? Thanks to the use of a Zircotec proprietary ceramic thermal barrier coating, 2010 FIA F2 series victor, GP3 race winner and 2012 P1 SuperStock UK Powerboat Champion Dean Stoneman has solved heat-related issues on his self-built, XRS48-based superboat. The composite hull packed with powerful engines created heat management issues that Zircotec was able to solve.


With over 1000bhp from the two 6.7-litre FPT 560 turbo diesel engines heat was always an issue, exacerbated by the tight packaging necessary for the streamlined hull. What's more, due to the sheer heat, routine maintenance out at sea, or between runs was difficult for the professional race driver.

  Powerboat with Zircotec ceramic coating
   Twin 6.7 litre turbo engines with Zircotec ceramic coatings

Remembering Zircotec from his race time, Dean turned to Zircotec to solve the heat issue. To reduce the surface temperature, and heat soak, Zircotec plasma sprayed the two large exhaust manifolds with its ThermoHold® based ceramic coating.


The results have been as spectacular as the boat itself. Since having the manifolds ceramic-coated the engine compartment temperature has been reduced by as much as 20 percent. There is more too; the engines are running more efficiently too and power doesn't fall off when it gets hot. Also, because the manifolds are much cooler, the waiting time for maintenance work has been halved.


So wherever you have a heat issue - on land, sea or air, please contact Zircotec to see if we can help you.

JMW get more power for Austrian ELMS round

18th July 2014

This weekend sees the Zircotec sponsored Ferrari 458 of JMW Motorsport compete in the third round of the Euro Le Mans Series in Austria.


The European Le Mans Series (ELMS) arrives at the Red Bull Ring this weekend for the third round of the championship. There have been minor tweaks to Balance of Performance regs since the last round that means the JMW Ferrari 458 Italia of the JMW Motorsport team will be able to fit smaller engine restrictors along with all other 458s in the series.

   Zircotec equipped JMW Ferrari 458 at Le Mans

The smaller restrictors should boost the cars power output making it even more competitive. Of course, increased performance also brings with it increased heat which is why JMW work with Zircotec to provide heat management solutions.


The JMW Ferrari already features the highly effective ZircoFlex® heatshield which makes a huge contribution to keeping the drivers compartment much cooler than otherwise. It has been extensively tested and provided up to 85% better performance than its competitors.


The 458 Italia also features our Performance White ceramic coating. The coating keeps more heat in the manifold helping to move the gas more quickly and contributing to lower temperatures in the engine bay. Lower engine bay temperatures means less conductive heat to impact driver performance during a gruelling endurance race.


We are also reliably told by another of our Technical Partner race teams using Performance White on their manifolds that the coated manifold provides a noticeably crisper response in 'back to back' tests with non coated manifolds.


The Red Bull Ring at the small town of Spielberg just outside Zeltweg in Austria has changed names several times since its formation. It has previously been called the Österreichring and the A1 Ring and it is also the home of the Austrian F1 GP and the Austrian MotoGP round.


Because of its location winding around a valley and the way it passes through sections of dense trees weather can play an important part in how any races pan-out there much as at Spa. This despite how much shorter it is than the Belgian circuit. It could prove to be an interesting race.

Engineering magazines look at Zircotec and powertrain innovation

30th June 2014


Zircotec and our products have been featured in two respected industry magazines this month, Engineering Materials and Automotive Megatrends.

The first article is a piece on the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the Performance Colours
range, discusses its heat resistant properties and how it is gradually becoming a de rigueur OEM requirement for manufacturers of high end performance cars. It also explains quite succinctly the bonding process between the coating and the surface. The article is on page 14 of this month's edition of Engineering Materials and the online version can be found here.

  Plasma spraying Zircotec ceramic coatings


The story in Automotive Megatrends discusses how likely it is for the latest technologies employed in the upper tiers of motorsport to find their way onto road vehicles. Specifically it looks at Powertrain Innovation and how our coatings are currently deployed to help maximise performance within tight packages. The article can be found by downloading the latest edition of the magazine which is available free here. There are also other very interesting articles regarding networked or ‘connected' vehicles and the implications for the auto industry and end users.

Moto2 testing of Zircotec coated exhaust records 55% temp reduction

20th June 2014


Zircotec partners and World Championship leading Moto2 GP team Marc VDS Racing undertook extensive testing following winning the Spanish GP at Jerez.


The two day test sessions at the Almeria circuit confirmed the significant cooling effects of Zircotec's plasma sprayed ceramic exhaust coatings under full race conditions.


The team revealed they measured exhaust surface temperature reductions of up to 55 percent.


   Moto2 GP bikes see 55% temp reductions using Zircotec

"We've been using Zircotec coatings since 2012, immediately noticing benefits," says Pete Benson, Chief Mechanic at Marc VDS Racing. "However, rather than rely on gut feelings, we wanted accurate and useable data. Which is why we recently undertook back-to-back testing using two identical, performance checked, exhaust manifolds. One of which was Zircotec coated. Although we expected the coated manifold to show improvements, the results far exceeded our expectations. The heat reduction ranged from a minimum of 31 percent (302°C rather than 421°C) to, at times, an astonishing 55 percent (186°C rather than 410°C). The typical average heat reduction being 40 percent (252°C rather than 421°C)."


According to Marc VDS, this level of heat reduction is hugely important on a motorcycle for a number of reasons. "Due to the compact, tightly packaged nature of modern racing motorbikes, the exhaust is routed very close to the bodywork and gets very little direct airflow," explains Benson. "What's important for us is to keep the heat within the manifold and then get that heat away from the engine as quickly as possible. Zircotec's ceramic coating does this exceptionally well, at all speeds, and with remarkable consistency. Plus it reduces heat transfer to nearby components, increasing reliability, not to mention lessening heat-related rider fatigue and improved driveability. Even though we've not dyno tested to check for performance gains, the riders tell us that the bikes fitted with ceramic coated manifolds feel much more responsive."


A vital tool for optimising engine performance and the major loss path for thermal energy, the exhaust manifold is subjected to a quite brutal combination of vibration and stress loading, as well as having to endure a range of weather conditions. Zircotec's ceramic coatings, which are extremely durable, take such abuse in their stride.


"All components are 'lifed' and therefore changed regularly, so longevity isn't a major concern for us," mentions Benson. Even so, the team appreciates just how hard wearing Zircotec's ceramic coatings are. "We tend to replace manifolds at around 3000kms, approximately a quarter of a season, although many don't make it that far due to accident damage. But, even under the most extreme circumstances, we've never ever experienced any deterioration of the coating," concludes Benson.

Zircotec equipped cars in multiple classes for 2014 Le Mans 24hr

13th June 2014

This weekend sees 55 race cars and 165 drivers take part in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours Race. A true test of endurance for both man and machine, it is exactly the environment where Zircotec's technologies can make the difference


With long stints of nearly four hours for the driver, often in a myriad of conditions, the need to protect both driver and car from the effects of heat is vital. Our barrier technologies are used in LMP1, LMP2 and GT category cars at this year's event.


  Zircotec sponsored JMW Ferrari  GT endurance racer

From protecting the driver from heat soak through to ensuring carbon composite parts can survive long periods next to high intensity heat sources without delaminating, both Zircotec's coatings and ZircoFlex® heat resistant heatshield are found in both LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes as well as GT cars. Our coatings are found on engine covers, brakes, aero parts and even the gearbox air cylinder as well as on the cockpit bulkhead to keep the driver's area cooler within fully enclosed cars. Our materials are crucial to maintaining the cockpit temperatures within the regulated limits for many cars.


For more information about how our coatings are helping 2014 competitors JMW Motorsport in its Ferrari 458, please watch a short video here

For race updates on the Zircotec supported JMW Motorsport Car, please follow their twitter feed @jmwmotorsport. Zircotec wishes all of its customers a safe and successful 24 Hour race this year.


The 2014 Le Mans 24 hr race commences at 3pm (2pm UK time) on Saturday 14th June and can be followed live via the Radio Le Mans website and also on Eurosport. 

Marc VDS win 5 out of 6 GPs this season

3rd June 2014


Zircotec's technical partners in Grand Prix motorcycle racing are the Belgium based Marc VDS Racing team. With the season about one third completed the team have won five out of the first six rounds of the Moto2 series and are having their most successful season ever.

The team runs two riders in the ultra competitive Moto2 series, Esteve Rabat and Mika Kallio who are currently sitting comfortably in first and second in the World Championship respectively.

  Grand Prix Moto2 teammates Kallio & Rabat on their Zircotec equipped machines


Rabat has won three GPs this season so far whilst teammate Kallio is himself no slouch with two victories to his name so far. They have also both managed to maintain that uncanny knack of when not winning, to either finish on the podium or as close to it as possible. That consistency has seen Rabat collect 124 points so far and Kallio 102 with their nearest rival only sitting on 69 points.

For the last couple of years the Moto2 class has used a control engine instead of it being a prototype class as had been up until that point. The change in the regs came about as the FIM the World controlling body for motorcycle racing, the teams and the manufacturers all tried to come up with a solution to reduce the costs involved. The objective was to encourage more teams to enter the class and that has certainly succeeded with the grids now regularly completely full with over 30 machines taking part.

The control engine is an in-line four stroke four cylinder configuration with the cylinders arranged laterally across the frame of the machines. The power plants are all manufactured by Honda and are loosely based upon their CBR600RR engine. With the advent of the control engine every last scrap of power became so much more important and yet even more elusive for the engineers. This is why Marc VDS came to Zircotec to discuss how our ceramic coatings could help them squeeze just that little bit extra out of the motors because as all race engineers know, it's all about gaining that edge.

We are proud to say we have contributed to the team's success by providing ceramic coatings using our Performance White
formulation on their manifolds and downtubes. We have been working closely with the team for the last couple of seasons. Our collaboration with Marc VDS has directly contributed to our research into ceramic coating applications for motorcycles and resulted in the Endurance Range.

The 2013 season's results were tremendous and in fact winning the World Championship was a real possibility until British rider Scott Redding crashed and broke his wrist with three rounds to go whilst leading the series. This year with both riders doing so well everyone is very positive about the future. Of course there is still two thirds of the season to go and anything can happen in racing but no one can deny the first part of the season has been a spectacular success.