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Coat of many colours

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One of the more interesting uses of coatings is to apply solid lubricants as a substitute for liquid lubricants. The solid lubricant that is used is normally a complex mixture that can include silver, molybdenum and various binding compounds. In the 1980’s and 1990’s US defence budgets encouraged the development of a range of coatings of all sorts and the solid lubricant found a use for example in a NASA project for a fully recirculating, non-air breathing engine. A Wankel unit...

Micro perfection

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Finding a material that fulfils all of the performance demands especially in a race engine is an almost impossible task. The result has been the growth in the use of coatings, used either to protect the load bearing core or to reduce frictional losses or both. Perhaps the best known are the various carbon and graphite coatings (often called DLC for diamond like coating) where a super thin layer of as little as 5 microns is deposited onto a finished surface using some form of vapour...

Self-applied engine coatings

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Several firms now offer specialty engine coating systems for use by individual builders and engine shops for a variety of applications. Common usages include thermal barriers, dry film surface lubricants, and anticorrosion coatings. In some cases, coatings can serve two functions, such as thermal barrier finishes for exhaust systems that also act as rust preventatives when applied to a mild steel exhaust header.While these materials have been available for quite some time, reports of...