Calico Coatings, in Denver, just moved into a new 20,000-square-foot facility. Tracy Trotter explained that the company was running out of room and had been in two locations. Now its 26 employees are under one roof.
While more than half of Calico Coatings business comes from motorsports, it also services military clients, tire manufacturers (tire molds), gun manufacturers and operates like a job shop. Calico ships all over the Unites States and to more than 20 countries.
The big part of the business is engine bearings. Coating them with a Teflon moly-coat reduces friction, so much so that they are designed to work without lubrication, which can drastically reduce engine damage if there is an oil failure. Calico also coats pistons, headers, and exhaust systems (these get a ceramic coating which diffuses heat), quick-change rear ends (pulls the heat from the rear and makes it easier to clean), cylinder heads and just about anything else you can think of in an engine.
When parts come in, they are cleaned and then on go the gloves so no contamination occurs. Parts – a few million a year – are coated by hand. Not as easy as it sounds as it takes three years to train a coater.
Tracy is investing in Calico’s thin film division, the high-tech part of coating. Lifters, wrist pins and valves and industrial parts are coated in this sterile environment. It produces a very hard, very thin, very expensive coating done in vacuum chambers. Tracy says this is the future of the company. You can see all the industries serviced by Calico by visiting its website.