For more than 25 years, fleets and owner/operators who installed Swain Tech coated pistons when they had their engines overhauled have benefited from increased power and better fuel mileage. This is the same advanced coating technology Swain Tech uses to give top NASCAR and IRL teams an edge over the competition.
Those who have engines equipped with coated pistons report that they now have the extra horsepower needed for heavy loads, hills and other tough pulls. They also report up to a half mile per gallon increase in fuel mileage and more miles between overhauls.
The payback on the coatings is immediate. A typical CAT or Cummins power unit gets about six miles per gallon and hauls about 100,000 miles per year. With the current cost of diesel fuel, they pay back in fuel saving alone would pay for the cost of the coating is just a couple of months. The typical annual fuel savings will pay for the cost of the coatings four times over in just one year.
The coatings are formulated and applied by Swain Tech Coatings, headquartered in the Rochester, New York suburb of Scottsville. Swain applies TBC™ Ceramic Thermal Barrier Coating to piston domes and Poly Moly™ friction reduction coating to piston skirts. The purpose of these coatings is to manage the heat and friction generated in the combustion process making the motor as efficient as possible and extending part life.
TBC™ Ceramic keeps the heat of combustion where it belongs, in the combustion chamber, limits the heat lost into the bottom end into the cooling system. By keeping the heat in the combustion chamber, the heat will produce a more complete use of the products of combustion, resulting in more power.
TBC™ Ceramic is applied to piston domes by a proprietary metallurgical process that literally co-mingles the substrate for a super high strength bond. This thin, ultra smooth ceramic coating insulates the piston metal so oil contacting the underside will not absorb a high amount of heat. No evidence of oil burn will be found on the underside of Swain Tech coated pistons.
Pistons that do not have the Swain Tech coatings will experience many fuel related problems due to low sulfur fuel and inconsistent additives. The erratic heat from the fuel’s spray pattern leads to heat checking and piston dome melting. Swain’s TBC Ceramic coating eliminates checking and melting.
Poly Moly™ is a proprietary formulation of tungsten disulfide and moly disulfide. When applied to piston skirts, Poly Moly™ drastically reduces friction between metal and oil film. Poly Moly™ also provides excellent protection in the event of oil starvation and cold starts.
The combination of TBC™ and Poly Moly™ prevents premature piston cracking, burning and skirt wear as well as increasing fuel mileage and lowering oil temperatures. The coatings do such an effective job of protecting the pistons that the same coated pistons are often reinstalled during a 500,000 mile rebuild because they are in such good condition. This saves significant dollars on a rebuild.
Many other parts benefit from Swain Tech coatings. Swain Tech has developed the only true insulating ceramic exhaust coating to keep under hood temperatures and exhaust gas velocities high. This exhaust coating is even more effective on turbo charged exhaust systems.
Dan Swain developed the first successful piston coatings for high performance engines in the 1970’s, and Swain Tech has been the leader in the formulation and application of heat, wear, corrosion and friction reducing coatings since its founding in 1980.