Designing, developing and manufacturing thermal management materials
The ZyCoat Story
Tim McCarthy, Founder and CEO ZyCoat, LLC, has been involved in the automotive sound deadening & thermal insulation business since the late 1980’s. After spending over 15 years as a Tier One supplier to Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and several transnational vehicle manufacturers, in November, 2002 McCarthy launched HushMat, at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. HushMat is the top-rated, USA manufactured and easiest to install sound deadening and thermal insulating material.
Before launching the ZyCoat family of products, McCarthy had always been on a quest to develop a sound and thermal insulation technology that could be applied as a spray by both DIYers and professional applicators. For more than a decade, McCarthy evaluated and tested numerous spray products that claimed to have thermal insulating properties. However, the results always fell short.
In 2012, a relationship between McCarthy and another business owner, who operated a breakthrough coating technology in the aerospace industry, was re-kindled in the Kansas City entrepreneurial community. McCarthy was introduced to a revolutionary thermal insulation technology that finally held promise for what he had been chasing for years. This spray technology was used extensively in the aerospace industry to combat the incredible heat conditions generated by jet engines. It was clear that this coating had tremendous potential as a thermal management coating in the automotive market.
As McCarthy began to test this spray technology, he observed its high temperature dissipation properties, stability under extreme conditions, adhesion qualities and its ease of application. The reason for this was based on proprietary polymer chemistry. The properties of this coating significantly outperformed ceramic coatings. Existing ceramic technologies were deemed unstable, sensitive to humidity and prone to degrade in other extreme environmental exposures in aerospace applications. The polymer technology passed all adhesion, humidity, corrosion and heat testing. It was during this time of product evaluations the birth of ZyCoat, LLC occurred.
McCarthy and a team of engineers and R&D resources began testing and evaluating the base coating technology. Lab testing, field work and exposure testing began and continued for nearly three and one-half years. Several “wish list” product and application attributes were defined and evaluated to enhance the automotive application. The coating performed beyond any expectation set up in the initial designs. In 2015 a single formulation was confirmed for further lab, environmental and performance testing. Heat exposure, corrosion, hot/cold, impact, adhesion studies were conducted with temperatures exceeding 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The results were well beyond anything the automotive industry had seen and performance was remarkably breakthrough in the high temperature environments.
Given these remarkable results, McCarthy developed a hypothesis. He wanted to determine if the relationship between thermal dissipation had any effect on engine performance (i.e., horsepower). In early 2017, McCarthy put four sets of Lingenfelter headers (two sets coated with ZyBar, one coated with ceramic and one stock header for baseline) and headed to Karl Performance of Ankeny, Iowa to test this in a controlled setting using an Engine Dynamometer. The dynamometer results exceeded all expectations. The throughput metrics and reduction of heat clearly improved the performance of the engine.
After thousands of hours of lab time and hundreds of test cycles, McCarthy confirmed this spray technology performance was unlike anything anyone had seen. As a result, the first ZyCoat product, ZyBar high temperature, heat dissipation coating was launched. Today ZyBar is expanding throughout the world through racers, hot rodders and professional coaters
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