A new industrial coating has caught our attention with its potential application for compressor pulleys and other automotive air-conditioning components, claiming benefits such as improved performance, reduced fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and greater durability.
Dubbed Vulcan Grip and developed by US firm Extreme Industrial Coatings (EIC), the coating has been proven in heavy-duty agricultural machinery such as harvesters, but the company is now highlighting how the technology could be adopted by the automotive industry.
The patent-pending Vulcan Grip is a factory-applied, high-friction, super-hard ceramic-metal composite coating for sheaves and pulleys that is designed to dramatically increase V-belt grip.
According to EIC, the coating can only be cut with diamond and is extremely wear-resistant, reducing the need to replace pulleys.
It can also maintain grip in high-contamination environments, while eliminating slippage translates to less heat generated from pulleys, increasing the longevity of components such as bearings and gearboxes.
As automotive vehicle and parts manufacturers institute gram-by-gram weight-reduction regimes, looking for incremental gains in vehicle fuel economy at every opportunity, coatings are clearly an area of great potential.
This is particularly evident with the increasing number of parts produced using advanced composite materials such as carbon fibre and plastic.
US-based Powder Coating Research Group president Kevin Biller told Wards Auto recently that powder-coating companies were working to meet the energy-efficient designs under development in the automotive industry.
“Interesting new cure chemistry and fine-tuned heating processes are evolving to meet the challenges posed by these non-traditional substrates,” Mr Biller says.
“These chemistries span the polymer spectrum from epoxies for tough, highly chemical-resistant coatings for non-UV-exposed surfaces to outdoor durable polyesters for automotive-grade acrylics.”