Issue: Dec 2007


Bekaert presents increased horsepower results by patented DLC coating application on aluminum piston



by Claudio Francisco

Bekaert presents increased horsepower results by patented DLC coating application on aluminum pistons at PRI

Recent testing results illustrate positive impact of DLC coatings on engine power output and wear resistance of aluminum pistons

Bekaert, worldwide leader in racing component coating solutions renowned for their exceptional characteristics, joined forces with Akira Technologies in France, a company specializing in the tuning of engines. Both companies tested the effect on power output and wear resistance by coating aluminum pistons with Bekaert DLC coatings. The outcome of these test results will be demonstrated by Bekaert on booths 1510-1512 during PRI. The trade event takes place in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, from December 6-8 and qualifies as one of the most reputed peer platforms in the racing industry.

Increased horsepower without structural changes
Tests have been performed using a motorcycle engine with standard aluminum pistons. Results on the Dynamometer showed an increase of horsepower of no less than 1% at low rpm, increasing up to 2% at 13.000 rpm. In a market continuously looking for an increase of the power output, these results are extremely important to the racing industry. The main advantage of applying Bekaert DLC coatings is that it requires no structural changes to the engine design, which is not often the case when searching to increase horsepower.

Marc Hervé, Market Manager Racing Europe states: “The Bekaert DLC coating is known to add wear resistance to the piston skirt, but it more importantly reduces the friction between piston and liner. This ultimately leads to a higher power output from the engine. Aluminium is the major element for pistons, because of its light weight and acceptable strength. By coating these pistons with Bekaert DLC coatings, customers are ensured of the durability and strength of their engine components, without having to make structural changes. Further tests are currently conducted to determine exactly the increased wear resistance, we foresee the DLC coating will extend the lifetime of the aluminum pistons in race engines.”

Patented technology
Bekaert can now not only coat these aluminum pistons, but also provide customers with a complete one-stop customer service solution by offering both the surface preparation and the DLC coating. In order to ensure their customers of the exclusivity of this service, Bekaert has patented both the application of DLC coatings on pistons and the surface preparation that is required prior to applying the DLC coatings. This complete customer service is currently available in Limoges (France) and Amherst (New York, USA). As of next year, it will also be available in Raleigh-Durham (North Carolina, USA).

Michael De Maegt, General Manager DLC, comments on the positive implications for the Bekaert customer base: “We owe these positive results to our continuous R&D efforts. Increased power output without making structural changes is always the preferred route to increased performance. Our cooperation with Akira Technologies has clearly proven that our customers can now improve the performance of their engines without making any design changes. In view of current power optimization trends, coating their aluminum pistons with Bekaert DLC coatings becomes a very attractive solution offering them a major competitive advantage.”


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