Thermal management specialist, Zircotec, explains the benefits of exhibiting at the Professional MotorSport World Expo and what the future holds for the company
PMW: You were back at the Professional MotorSport World Expo for a second time. What attracted you to return? Zircotec – Last year, the event gave us a really good opportunity to meet engineers from mainland Europe. The Expo was particularly good for catching up with the technical staff from the European OEM factory race and rally teams. We don’t always get a chance to meet those engineers.
PMW: Zircotec does a lot of shows. What is special about Professional MotorSport World Expo? Z: We felt the quality of visitors was high and it was worthwhile us coming back. The PMW Expo actually clashes with an important classic car show in the UK, but we have juggled things around to ensure that we can make it!
PMW: You chose to launch a new product at the show. Tell us a little more about it Z: We will show our first ever ‘structural’ ZircoFlex FORM heatshield (pictured). This is a rigid heatshield, made using a hybrid construction of stainless steel and ceramic. This design enables engineers to benefit from Zircotec’s ceramic coating protection together the strength and ability to form structures. We are bringing the first ZircoFlex FORM prototypes to Cologne. We think this is relevant to PMW's audience, and by showing them parts now, they have the opportunity to ‘design in’ the product for next year’s cars. PMW: Were you showing any other innovations at the Expo? Z: Yes, Zircotec has just won an Innovation in Materials award from Composites UK. This award recognizes a new product we have launched in motorsport. This is a new plasma-sprayed coating that we believe will enable the greater use of lighter and more efficient materials in electronic applications. Our new coating has just received the 2014 Innovation in Materials Award from Composites UK. For motorsport users, this coating offers a lighter solution than metal heatshields that are used to reduce EMI – that mix of performance and weight is likely to appeal to motorsport.
PMW: What are your thoughts on the motorsport market? Z: We have had a very successful year, our best to date. Our technology helps performance and also extends the life of parts and improves reliability. We are in a fortunate position to have a product that can make a car quicker and last longer. We are seeing more club use too, though professional motorsport remains the core for our composite coatings. Our migration to the road car sector has helped us become more sustainable, balance the seasonal demands of motorsport and invest in increases in capacity. That has helped our motorsport customers to get better service, shorter lead times and improved quality control.
PMW: What else is happening at Zircotec? Z: Our expanded factory is now line-offering more surface finishes and more capacity to handle bigger volume jobs. We have more tooling and are really geared up for everything from one-offs to runs of thousands. That has seen us win some work in the motorcycle sector. We are also planning more technical partnerships. We already have partnerships in MOTO2, BTCC, ELMS and soon we will have one in WEC. These are very exciting times for Zircotec.
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