What are Performance Coatings?

What are Performance Coatings?

The performance coatings that we offer are designed to meet your needs for heat management, friction reduction, corrosion resistance, strength and overall longevity for both internal engine components and external engine components.It should be noted that some coatings will fall into more than one category. You might have, as an example, a Corrosion Inhibitor that is also a Thermal Dispersant. The following information will provide a general overview on coatings falling into these categories.

Dry Film Lubricants

Dry film lubricants, also known as solid film lubricants, provide a lubricating film that reduces friction, inhibits galling and seizing and in some instances can aid in dispersing heat. The appearance is generally a charcoal gray and takes on a sheen upon burnishing. They are slippery and provide an extremely low coefficient of friction.

The two most important components are the binders and lubricating ingredients. Without a good binder the coating will not stay in place and will simply cold flow or buff off in operation. Similar coatings using the same pigments but different binding systems can show a wide variation in load carrying abilities, ranging from 100,000 psi to over 350,000 psi . The pigments determine the actual lubricating potential. PTFE, as an example, is listed as having the lowest coefficient of friction (COE). However, under high speed and load, the COE of PTFE degrades while that of MOS2 (Moly) improves, until it is significantly better than PTFE. Selecting the proper ingredients can make or break a coating.

One of the obvious reasons for using a lubricating coating is to reduce friction, which improves wear, extends part life and frees up H.P. normally lost to friction. A second major benefit is a reduction in part temperature. This is especially important to such parts as valve springs. Here the pigment choice is critical as certain ingredients can trap heat in a part. Not all coatings are created equal. . It is recommended that coatings using PTFE be avoided in these cases. Contact us before choosing a dry film lubricant.

Thermal Barrier Coatings

Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC’s) are designed to reduce the movement of heat. In some instances, such as exhaust systems, you want to keep the heat within the part. In combustion chambers you want to use the heat generated by combustion to push down on the piston rather than bleed off into surrounding surfaces. Due to continued testing we are learning that simple thermal barrier action is not the only characteristic that is important. In fact certain TBC’s will move an engine into detonation. TBC coatings can be made from a variety of materials. Ceramics get the most attention, though there are other materials that are superior in specific applications. The proper choice is critical to the overall function of the coating.

Thermal Dispersants

Being able to move and control heat is of tremendous importance. Excessive temperature can lead to metal fatigue, boiling fluids, damaging metal expansion, reduce electrical efficiency and a host of other problems. Traditionally dealing with heat has been handled either by expanding the radiating surface, constructing parts from materials that are more heat conductive and using the color black. With advances in thermal management methods additional ways of enhancing heat transfer now exist. Our supplier, TECH LINE has developed a Thermal Management System™ . Individual products such as TLTD can be utilized by themselves or in conjunction with other coatings to manage the flow of heat. TLTD is capable of transferring heat faster than the bare metal surface. While TLTD does make use of the color black, TLTD is more than a simple “black body” heat emitting coating. TLTD includes ingredients that also contribute to increased heat flow. Combining these properties with increased corrosion protection and the thin film application technique, maximizes thermal transfer capabilities. Effective on Brakes, Intake Manifolds, Cylinder Heads, Oil Pans, Radiators, Intercoolers and more.

Certain Dry Film Lubricants we apply are capable of reducing part temperature not only through the reduction of friction but also through increased thermal flow. The active ingredients accelerate the movement of heat. This is especially beneficial on valve springs where excess heat can lead to accelerated fatigue and in some instance breakage.

Corrosion and Chemical Inhibiting Coatings

The loss of effectiveness, reduction in part life and deteriorating appearance due to corrosion/chemical damage is of real concern. Loosing a well matched/tuned header to rust is not only expensive, but frustrating. A good aluminum manifold can become junk if the water inlet area corrodes excessively. Keeping components clean and attractive is of concern when promoting your vehicle or the parts you manufacture to potential sponsors or customers. We offer a variety of protective coatings that also enhance the appearance of a part. Many of these coatings will have additional benefits such as Thermal Barrier or Thermal Dispersants capabilities.

What Parts Should Be Coated?

Any part subject to heat damage, corrosion, friction or loss of lubricating film can benefit from hi performance coatings. In addition, enhanced appearance is possible for parts such as exhaust thermal coating headers, brackets and suspension pieces. Colors are also available.

How Much Power Will I Gain?

This will depend upon many factors that will vary from application to application. Testing has shown significant power increases on a dyno. Changes can be made in such areas as tolerances, timing, jetting and the lubricants used, that will increase torque and H.P. and are only possible through the use of coatings. Gains of up to 40 horsepower have been measured in independent dyno testing.

How Long Will The Coatings Last?

Depending on the coating, part life increases from two (2) to ten (10) times the normal part life can be obtained. Coatings such as “THERMAL BARRIER COAT” (exhaust header coating) can provide virtual lifetime protection against rust when applied to a new part. The dry film lubricants may burnish until they are no longer visible, however the active materials are bonded into the pores of the part and continue to provide protection.

Will I See A Temperature Change?

Parts will run cooler when coated with a thermal barrier (ceramic coating for exhaust systems), allowing engine oil and water temperatures to show a reduction. The radiated heat on headers will be substantially reduced leading to lower under hood temperatures and less heat absorption by nearby parts and surfaces. This is also a benefit for motorcycle exhaust coating to reduce the temperature rising towards the rider.

There are two different high-end temperature ratings for the thermal barrier coatings 1200 or 2000 Deg. F. NOS applications should use Turbo-X 2000 (only available in satin black color) in order to maintain exhaust component coating life. The thermal barrier coating provides approximately 25% – 30% barrier.

What about clearances?

The dry film lubricants will burnish as they run until they are no longer visible. They are applied at thicknesses ranging from .0005″ to .0015″. However, before assembly the coating may be burnished back to less than .0002″ with gentle buffing using “Scotch-bright” or similar material.NO CHANGES need to be made in clearances due to the use of these coatings, though in many instances because of the reduced part temperature and increased lubrication tighter clearances may be run.

What tuning changes will be necessary?

The changes necessary will vary from engine to engine and depend on how many parts are coated. In general coating the combustion chamber surfaces will allow you to run less initial timing with no loss of power (usually a gain will occur). You may also be able to run significantly less fuel, due to the more efficient oxidation that occurs with the coated parts. You should be able to run smaller jet sizes. Obviously no specific recommendations can be made as every engine/combination will be different.



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We provide high quality powder coating services to fit your needs. Our services include Powder Coating & Thermal Barrier Ceramic Coating. Our mission is to offer you the best possible service and finished product with whatever project you present us with. We provide all processes in house from preparation to final curing in order to maintain our high level of quality control and quick turnaround times for your project. Although our main focus is in the Automotive, Motorcycle, and Racing industry we will gladly take care of any coating need that you may have. We can also offer some media blasting only services to meet your needs.



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