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Dedicated motorsport trade show expands to cover aerospace, defence and marine

Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) : 10 January, 2013  (Company News)
The best of British precision engineering and surface technologies are showcased in Birmingham at Autosport International 2013, running from from 10-13 January 2013.

Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show, on 10-13 January, covers a wide array of engineering disciplines and starts with two days dedicated to industry guests. The 2012 show attracted in excess of 700 exhibitors and 28,500 trade visitors, with over £800 million in business generated.

The show features a strong international contingent of exhibitors and visitors from around the world, while motorsport isn’t the only focus - an increasing number of companies apply their engineering expertise in fields including aerospace, defence and marine.

Among the companies with a presence in multiple fields, coatings specialist Zircotec’s composites are being used more frequently in the boat building industry. “This is a sector that is as yet untapped and we can transfer expertise from the track to the sea,” said Managing Director Terry Graham. "We have only two resellers in this sector globally whereas in automotive we have many more. With demands for higher performance, engine downsizing and a desire to reduce weight we are sure we can provide easy to implement thermal management solutions.”  

Among Zircotec’s current marine activities, the motorsport-derived, ceramic-based ThermoHold has emerged as the ideal coating for winch pulleys to minimise wear and enable crews to use harder and smaller ropes. It has already featured in a different type of racing, through a yacht in the nine-month Volvo Ocean Race, where durability is everything.

The Abingdon company will launch two new products at Autosport International; a 24-carat gold backed version of its ZircoFlex heatshield material along with the option of a real gold finish for its ThermoHold® coatings for carbon composites. The two innovations offer high levels of performance in protecting components exposed to radiant heat.

The technology transfer isn’t just out of motorsport. Specialist coatings manufacturer Indestructible Paint recently applied aerospace-derived technology to motorsport, developing a cold-curing system to protect engine parts and magnesium components on a restored Ford RS200 rally car built in the 1980s.

Upon approach by the former team manager overseeing the restoration for the car’s owner, Indestructible developed IP 9064 Epoxy coatings for all of the magnesium castings on the car, including the gearbox, four-wheel drive system, front and rear axles, clutch bell-housing and front and rear suspension uprights.

A relative newcomer to the industry, Versarien will showcase its newest advanced heat transfer material; a ground-breaking, micro-porous metallic material, as the next generation of cooling mechanisms for space-constrained environments such as engines and electronic systems.

Developed at the University of Liverpool, VersarienCu will be up to ten times more effective at transferring heat energy than conventional micro-channel heat sinks of equivalent size. With its increased surface area, the new material achieves a heat transfer coefficient of approximately 150-200 kW/m2K.

Beyond the exhibitors on show, industry guest are also invited to register for a range of free workshops to be held through the Motorsport Industry Association on the event’s two trade-only days, 10-11 January.

Among the seminars, the CRP Group will showcase its transfer of motorsport technology to the automotive and aerospace arenas and the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership will outline commercial opportunities in the region for engineering companies. The MIA itself will also conduct a number of workshops, including dedicated seminars on applying motorsport technology in other arenas.

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