December 19, 2006 A high-technology ceramic coating originally developed for the nuclear industry and already used by five Formula One teams is now available for automotive applications. Applied to the exhaust manifold using a high-temperature plasma spray, the Zircotec coating greatly reduces the release of heat, helping to protect the finish of the manifold, the engine and other components in the engine bay. The coating can also be applied to turbo housings, cam covers, heat shields and other metal components. Testing by race teams has shown a reduction in under-bonnet temperature of up to 25ºC and power improvements, from the lower air induction temperatures, of up to six percent. One motorcycle racing team that employed the system used a laser-guided thermometer and found that while the exhaust can have an internal temperature of around 150 degrees Centigrade, the outside temperate can be low enough for the exhaust pipe to be removed WITHOUT using gloves.
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