Zircotec adds to Lamborghini's cool

  • 30-Jul-2008 04:16 EDT
ZircotecLambo 1.jpg

Protection for heat-sensitive body components around the tailpipe of the Lamborghini Reventón is provided by Zircotec’s plasma-sprayed Diamond Black coating.

Lamborghini is using automotive coating specialist Zircotec’s new thermal barrier for its Reventón model. The supercar is priced at a million euros.

Zircotec’s new plasma-sprayed Diamond Black coating is applied to the exhaust and inhibits heat transfer from the tailpipe, protecting heat-sensitive components from damage. It is the first application for Diamond Black, which provides the required aesthetic signature for the car.

“Lamborghini needed a durable solution that protected the composite bodywork and components at the rear of the car,” said Zircotec’s OEM Manager, Peter Whyman. “Paint finishes were unable to meet the quality and durability requirements set by Lamborghini. Our coating is plasma-sprayed—in effect welding it to the base material, making it more resilient during heat cycling, life testing, and abrasion tests.”

Together with the new black finish, Zircotec was able to deliver both a highly durable coating and one that met the requirements of Lamborghini’s Styling Department. “The Zircotec coating was the only coating that satisfied all our requirements,” said Luca Meschiari, Head of Exhausts at Lamborghini. “It is durable and offers significantly better performance than any other solution we have seen.”

Lamborghini is the first application for the Diamond Black surface, a development (patent applied for) using titania alumina and bond coat. “Until now, black was only available using high-temperature paints,” added Whyman. He said that only using paint was less durable and therefore not appropriate for OEM applications: “We developed this finish as part of an increasing range of individual coatings that can be adjusted to the application and to customer requirements.”

The Zircotec coating has been created to meet both packaging restrictions and weight-saving solutions. Whyman stated that the coating offered OEMs a robust, easily packaged system that could “dramatically” inhibit the transfer of heat from exhausts, turbochargers, and catalysts, thus protecting heat sensitive components.

The Zircotec system has been proven on the track in Formula One racing and in World Rally Championship use. The technology, originally developed for the nuclear industry, allows OEMs to quickly resolve heat-management challenges even on existing platforms, said Whyman.

To meet thermal barrier requirements in high-performance car applications, Zircotec’s zirconia-based ceramics have a thermal efficiency of less than 1.7 W/m·K. Applied to an exhaust system, the Zircotec coating inhibits the radiation of heat from the surface of the material by containing it internally. The coating can also be applied to other metal components including heat shields.

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