Broadening Barrier Solutions

Zircotec expands R&D facilities serving numerous sectors

Automated application of ceramic coating to a turbocharger housing by Zircotec, a specialist heat management company

 

BY IAN CAMERON

Thermal management company Zircotec Group is expanding its technical capabilities to broaden its portfolio of thermal barrier solutions.

The company, based in Abingdon, England, is a specialist in heat management and was formerly part of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, based near Oxford.

Although its expertise in thermal barrier technologies was originally developed for the nuclear industry, Zircotec increasingly provides consultancy in thermal management to leading motorsport teams, original equipment vehicle manufacturers and companies operating in a number of fields, including the aerospace, marine and oil and gas industries.

The company’s products include: proprietary plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings; exhaust system coatings; inlet manifold coatings; heat shield materials; wear resistant, anti-corrosion and aesthetic coatings; ceramic coatings and metal coatings for carbon composites and high-temperature plastics; and specialist plasma-sprayed ceramic products.

Zircotec has also appointed Simon Hiiemae as its new technical director as the company announced it is also investing in a new research and development facility. The company aims to broaden its portfolio of thermal barrier solutions for the automotive industry following demand for wear resistant and anti-corrosion coatings.

Simon Hiiemae

“Zircotec has identified benefits of its plasma spray coating technology that go beyond advanced thermal management and we’re delighted to welcome Simon Hiiemae to the board of directors,” said Graeme Barette, Zircotec’s group sales director.

As well as working to diversify Zircotec’s product range, Hiiemae will also use experience garnered in space, aerospace, industrial, defense, automotive, architectural, maritime and deep-sea industries to enhance the company’s technologies and optimise existing processes, the company said.

The pressure to reduce emissions in the automotive industry is leading to higher exhaust temperatures and the introduction of new, lightweight materials. The effectiveness of these new materials can be cost-effectively extended with specialist surface engineering using Zircotec technologies, according to the company.

“Originally developed for the British nuclear industry and then adopted by Formula 1, Zircotec’s plasma spray coating can be developed for even harsher environments and higher temperatures without negatively impacting production or point of sale costs,” Hiiemae added.

Hiiemae started at Zircotec Group at the beginning of January and is working on a number of projects, including the research and development facility, automation processes, development of the company’s portfolio and expansion of the technologies into new industries.

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