Does powder coating affect heat dissipation?


May 28, 2001
So, does powder coating valve covers (or IC pipes, etc) decrease heat dissipation to any appreciable degree?

If so, do any other coatings do a better job of not holding heat in the motor?

Thanks and merry Christmas! :cool:

Ceramic based coatings appear to be the best heat insulators, but let's exclude ceramics because you said "powder coating", ie basically paint.

If all other factors are equal, a silvery/aluminum colored coating will reflect away heat (infrared radiation). So heat INSIDE, stays inside. Heat OUTSIDE, also stays outside.

A dark coating behaves more like a "black body". So, the INSIDE will radiate heat to the outside, faster.

With radiators and Intercolers, you're typically wanting to get excess heat to the outside. Black radiators and I/Cs should have a slight edge.

Whether any of this would make a meaureable difference on a dyno reading, seems unlikely on a street/strip car.
After that post, how did I guess that you were an engineer?!?! ;) ;) ;) I just finished my degree in Mec. Engineering at U of MD.

yup, I'm an engineer, with a strong background in physics (started off being physics major, but started emphasizing engineering & applied science late in soph year). I have a tendency to analyze things from a science/engrg perspective, which on more than one occasion would annoy my former wife.

And Congratulations on earning your engrg degree!

One of the biggest challenges facing the engrg profession, is the increasing tendency of companies to outsource more and more of what normally is considered "core functions" (like design engrg) , to 3rd world countries (India especially, China less so for the time being).

So far this has mainly affected rank & file engrs and technicians in IT. Eg, a programmer earning $60K in USA, could have the same work done by an Indian engr who is willing to work for $5K per year in India. And even though many of India's 1 Billion people are illiterate and in poverty, millions of them are very well educated, are very bright, and speak good english. A very schizophrenic, divided society ...

Engineers (and many other professions) now starting out, will have pay much more attention to managing their careers ("Me, Incorporated"), than back in the 70s when I started out.
What if you were rebuilding a motor and wanted to clean up the appearance of the upper & lower manifold along with the valve covers. You'd rather go with a coating that is more durable than spray paint (even high temp paint). Are there any negative effects to using powder coating on these parts? Things such as the powder coating causing the part to RETAIN heat (what you don't want happending on the intake)??

Obviously, I think a Jet-Hot type of coating would be the best way to go, but it is quite pricey.