Advanced Materials & Processes

FEB 2015

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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failures. In fact, 85% of the F1 grid is now using a Zircotec coating to protect composite parts. These coatings could also boost composites growth in electrical applications. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can interrupt or degrade transmitted data signals. Carbon- composite materials, known to be relatively transparent to radio frequency signals, require bulky metal heat shields to provide the right level of shielding. However, the added weight and bulk has deterred composite use in such applications. Zircotec addressed this problem with a highly conductive alu- minum-based material that is lightweight yet thin—typically applied at less than 0.3 mm. Because carbon is an excellent electrical conductor, a less conductive sub-layer is applied be- fore the EMC top coating to prevent electrical contact with the components themselves. For design engineers, this means considerably more scope for positioning electrical or electronic parts with- in a vehicle and the option to use more composites in vehicle design as well. Zircotec's research suggests that engineers would like to use composites for housing elec- tronics, but poor EMC performance has restricted usage due to the bulky metal shielding required to protect elec- trical components. lookinG FoRwARD In defense applications, heat management coatings from Zircotec could be used reduce the thermal footprint of vehicles, lowering the temperature emitted and making them less detectable. For more information: Peter Whyman is sales director at Zircotec Ltd., 22 Nuffield Way, Abingdon Oxon, OX14 1RL, +44 1235 546050, zircotec.com. Fig. 2 — Coatings can reduce the heat and electrical signals emitted from vehicles. Fig. 3 — ZircoFlex is used in the field in defense applications to solve heat issues without removing vehicles from duty. i T S S e | a d v a n c e d m a t e r i a l s & p r o c e s s e s | F e B r U a r Y 2 0 1 5 1 4 iTSSe | TSS

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