In the pursuit of getting the most power from an engine new technologies are always being tried. High performance developments are being continuously incorporated into on-road vehicles as efficiency gains are sought and one technology that is now becoming commonplace is the use of metallic ceramic coatings.
Engine components are made from dissimilar metals and due to metallurgical differences of the components heat is absorbed and dissipated different rates.
Since temperature control - heat resistance, lubrication - friction reduction, and wear protection are key to the protection of internal and external components it is hardly surprising that anything that contributes to wear protection significantly contributes to the horsepower and performance characteristics of a particular engine.
Performance engine builders have been refining such horsepower gains through the use of ceramic coatings as a means of wear protection.
Ceramic coatings are being used as a barrier between dissimilar metals to reduce friction, which in turn reduces wear in internal engine components.
By applying ceramic coatings to the dissimilar metal components, it allows them to interface with one another more uniformly and compatibly.
The most common applications for ceramic coatings are on the exhaust system, intake manifolds, and exhaust headers.
When ceramic thermal barrier coatings are applied to exhaust manifolds or headers, they provide two advantages.
Firstly, they protect the headers from rust and corrosion; and,
Secondly, they reduce heat loss which can be translated into high engine output.
If the exhaust headers are internally coated, the hot exhaust gases travel at a higher velocity with less turbulence due to smoother surface inside the system.
Internally, ceramic-coating the cylinder head's combustion chamber and exhaust ports has the effect of creating a faster, hotter burn during the power stroke and help scavenge gases from the cylinder at a quicker rate.
The coating of these passages also assists in creating a thermal transfer from the hot gases to the cylinder head itself.
Externally, the use of an oil-shedding coating in the the valve train location area or valley as it is sometimes referred to can assist the speed of the oil used to lubricate the valve train in it's return to the sump.
The use of a thermal dispersant coating on the cylinder head's external surface assist in cooling the cylinder head.
Valve springs can also be coated with an oil-shedding ceramic to aid in the oil return to the sump and whilst the Camshaft bearing surfaces should not be treated, the rest of the camshaft can be coated with a dry film lubricant.
The crankshaft and connecting rods can also be coated with the oil-shedding coating to cut "parasitic" drag.
The primary benefits of using Metallic Ceramic Coatings are: