The first applications of nickel + silicon carbide coatings in the automotive industry were applied to the cylinders of WANKEL engines (rotary engines) in 1966. The Japanese industry (SUZUKI) adopted coating on motorbikes from 1978 onwards. Towards 1980, the French automotive industry (Peugeot – Citroën) used the coating for some special applications.
Currently, the process is generalised across all motor sports, including F1, karting and motorbike racing.
A FEW DETAILS ABOUT THE PROCESS
Composite coating – nickel/silicon carbide (commonly known as NICKEL, with varying spellings) is carried out by electrolysis. It is composed of a matrix of electrolytic nickel and very hard, fine particles of silicon carbide (3000 Vickers) distributed throughout this matrix. These particles give the coating exceptional wear resistance and an extremely low friction coefficient.
REVALTEC, after many years of research, has improved on the original process and has developed REVASILTM, a coating of its own. The improvement in the process firstly focused on the reliability of surface preparation ranges allowing perfect adhesion to substrates such as aluminium alloys, cast iron, etc. This phase is essential because “what is the best coating worth if it doesn’t adhere to the surface”.
The research then focused on the coating itself. Consisting of a matrix of electrolytic nickel (as a binder) and very hard, fine particles of silicon carbide, optimal characteristics are obtained if the following conditions are met:
- Increased hardness of the nickel matrix to avoid the carbide granules from breaking up,
- Consistent distribution and precision particle size,
- Degree of purity of the powders used to avoid inclusion of impurities,
- High silicon carbide content in the matrix (greater than 13% in volume), where this rate directly determines the wear resistance of the material.
Revaltec has carried out extensive research on these crucial points to give you the very best of the technique: REVASILTM. This technique, successfully used on racing engines, can be used for other applications such as ultralight aircraft, outboard motors, jet skis, compressors and other parts requiring increased mechanical characteristics.