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Piston Coatings

My first article was purely about our ceramic exhaust coatings. As our name implies, we have a wide range of performance coatings so in this blog I will be introducing you to the 'What' and 'Why' we coat pistons.

Piston Coatings

We apply anything from one to three different coatings to pistons, all of which serve a different function.

Piston Crowns – Incorrect ignition timing settings, poor quality fuel and cooling issues can all lead to the dreaded problem of pre-ignition detonation or “knock”. This occurs when peak cylinder pressure occurs before the piston has reached TDC, resulting in excessive cylinder temperatures and damage to the crown surface. Obvious ways to eliminate it are to check your ignition timing and the vacuum advance mechanism is functioning properly, to check the spark plug rating and go cooler if needed and/or to increase the engine radiator cooling capacity.

*For those who wish to maintain maximum engine horsepower our application of a gold-coloured ceramic coating (PTG) to the piston crown effectively takes away the potential damage caused by detonation as the extra hard surface can take the pressures and temperatures involved.

Piston Skirts – A molybdenum disulphide based liquid coating (TLML) is applied to the skirt to reduce frictional losses. Applied to new and used pistons and we can even build up the diameter of used pistons up to 0.004” by using a harder base lubricant coating (TLMB). This proven process can save the expense of replacing 8 worn pistons.

Piston Cooling – Our thermal dispersant coating (TLTD) applied to the inside surfaces of the piston increases the amount of heat taken out of the metal by the cooling engine oil. More on this coating further into this article.

Our first application of all three coatings was on a Kawasaki 1000cc drag bike that was blowing pistons after each run; This appears to be acceptable to drag racers as it shows maximum output was gained from the engine, however, he was more than pleased when he ran with the triple coated pistons as his elapsed time was 0.25 seconds quicker, his final speed 6 mph higher and he was able to complete several runs before any signs of piston distress.

I too have personally fitted triple coated pistons to a 1600cc Ford Kent crossflow engine and gained 6 bhp from 102 to 108 by being able to advance the ignition timing by 5 degrees without any piston damage so when the time time right to remove the engine from my racing MGBGT V8, I will be 'triple coating' the pistons - In fact I will go one-step further and ceramic coat the valve faces and combustion chamber for maximum effect.

Thermal Dispersant Coating - TLTD

The main use for this coating is to improve the effectiveness of engine cooling radiators, oil coolers and turbo intercoolers by between 10 and 20% as measured by Honda Racing and Williams. Other components such as engine, gearbox and diff casings also benefit from the reduced metal temperatures.

One extreme application was to the brake callipers of an F1 car together with a reflective ceramic coating applied to the disc path in the calliper. The extra cooling provided by these combined coatings eliminated their experienced problem of brake fluid boiling.

Lubricant Coatings

Apart from the obvious candidates of gears and pistons coated with TLML we have a range of specialised lubricant coatings for shell bearings, valve springs (to increase life by a factor of three), valve stems and throttle slides.

All these coatings are applied to the prepared surfaces by spraying and are oven cured at 150 degs.C so there is no risk of damage.

An Additional Service: Powder Coating

Three years ago we installed a modern powder coating line to enable us to provide customers with a one-stop coating capability for many car components. So when you send your exhaust in for ceramic coating you could also add rocker covers or brake callipers say for high quality powder coating in a wide range of colours.

We are based in Warrington and offer a Collection / Delivery service, alternatively you are always welcome to visit us at:

Camcoat Performance Coatings Ltd. Unit 129, Hoyle Street,

Bewsey Industrial Estate, Warrington


For any questions, including pricing, please contact:

t: 01925 445003

My third article will be on our unique ceramic anodising process; All the benefits of hard anodising but with no dimensional growth and available in any colour!

by Peter Carter

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