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Ceramic Coating Handles Heat, Looks Great
Ceramic coating of high-heat parts keeps them looking good and working better, according to Kevin Feller. He and his wife Amy run K & A Coatings. While they do powder coatings too, it is the ceramic coatings that set their business apart. They work with motorcycles, cars and trucks, as well as tractors for restoration and for pulling. Dave Nelson, Agri-Crafts (Vol. 38, No. 4) relies on Feller for his tractor restorations.
  “Ceramic coatings can handle high heat without discoloring,” says Feller. “On internal parts, they can keep pistons cooler and keep heat in the combustion chamber. A coating put on piston skirts self lubricates for less wear and longer life. Ceramic-coated manifolds, heads and exhaust pipes look great and also resist heat.”
  Parts are first sandblasted to clean them down to bare metal before the liquid ceramic is applied. Feller says he coats the inside of parts as well as the outside.
  “We sandblast the inside of the pipes and spray with the liquid coating as best we can, though some of the curves in elaborate pipes can be hard to reach,” says Feller. “We swab them to try to cover everything.”
  Once the parts are well-coated, they’re baked in a kiln and cured. In the case of the polished aluminum coating, they’re also run through a tumbler with porcelain beads.
  Feller offers multiple colors and types of coatings in addition to the polished aluminum. The common ones are a Deere-approved flat black, as well as a cast iron-like tungsten and a champagne-colored titanium. The black is especially heat resistant, tolerating temperatures as high as 2,000°F.
  "We do pipes from all over the country," says Feller. "This spring we did a set of $8,000 headers for a Ferrari. I've done big twisty headers for race cars or muscle cars where they are trying to fit them under the hood."
  Feller prices ceramic coatings on pipes at about $15 per foot or more, depending on the diameter. Tractor mufflers range from $50 to $150. Headers range from $200 to $250. On classic tractors and cars, Feller is comfortable the cost is worth it.
  "If you go to a tractor or car show, you see these beautifully painted and restored vehicles with rusty exhausts," says Feller. "A ceramic coating can keep pipes and other parts looking good, too."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, K & A Coatings, 
44720 Prospect St., Rushford, Minn. 55971 (507 864-7007; kevin@kandacoatings.com; kandacoatings.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6