Coatings have been a well-kept secret for many years, but now seem to be everywhere. While they have become a standard part of virtually every major race teams program, they are still not fully understood. When you hear terms like matrix, zirconia, polymer, plasma spray, ion impingement, flouropolymer, thermo set, catalysed, organic, and inorganic and more, it gets pretty confusing! To the average person terms like these and many others that are associated with coatings, are barely understandable.
The first key is to recognise the fact that you don’t need to fully understand the chemistry or application method to benefit from these processes in the same way that you don’t need to understand how a bearing is made or what aluminium is used in your pistons.
This information can only really be of any use if you are running at the cutting edge of your field. Actually, judging coatings is pretty much the same as choosing any other part. You look to see what others are using, you talk to those who have used it and then you ring the manufacturer for additional information. Here is where the major dilemma occurs!
There are literally thousands of coatings used in the Aerospace/Industrial field. How do you pick the right one?
Some companies have simply used whatever they could find, but is this the best way to go? After all, which coating would you prefer? One designed to keep your eggs from sticking to your frypan or one that prevents your pistons from sticking, or galling on the cylinder wall? Unfortunately this is the source of some of the early, and current problems with coatings.
Some companies are making use of coatings that were not designed for the automotive industry. While these have shown some benefits, they have not been consistent.
Firms applying these coatings are not willing or able to help with accurate information concerning high performance applications. Without this information you could be in big trouble. Make sure you contact the company that can help you.... Pro Coat!
Drop by the Pro Coat workshop located within East Tamaki, Auckland, for educated tips and services about performance, automotive, industrial, marine and powder coating solutions.
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