Diamond-Like-Carbon (DLC) coating is now offered by COMP Cams for solid-tappet and solid hydraulic lifters. The coating applies an extremely wear-resistant and slick bit of technology to the lifter’s contact face. DLC is an amorphous carbon material class that displays properties similar to diamonds.
The DLC final product is only microns thick. This technology is popular in many diverse industries, and despite a higher expense and an extensive production process, COMP’s high volume of solid lifters sold annually allows it to apply this coating as a relatively inexpensive option for solid lifter customers. The popularity of the coating process in so many industrial applications has brought the price within reach for affordable performance and racing applications.
For example, a set of small-block/big-block Chevrolet hydraulic flat-tappet 812D lifters is approximately $20 more than the traditional 812 uncoated lifters.
When you view the contact face of the lifter, it appears darker and shinier on the surface compared to an uncoated lifter surface. The traditional break-in procedure associated with solid lifters and cams is less critical with the diamond-tough coating. Still, the standard break-in process that establishes lobe and lifter rotational patterns does not change with the new DLC option.
The final DLC finish reduces friction due to its high lubricity and wear resistance, extending the life of the lifter and cam. Also, the part must have a perfect surface finish underneath and a very hard material to support the DLC coating.
Though the term “diamond-like” may be undesirable for a wedding ring, COMP’s diamond-like coating for flat tappet lifters is the next step in increasing durability for solid lifter surfaces. Add affordability to the flat tappet application for hot rodders and racers alike, and “diamond-like” to your next cam and lifters project could be a beneficial marriage on your next engine build.