Partnering opportunity

Nanoceramic coating for light alloys, superior to anodising and plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO)

Summary

A UK company has introduced novel coating for high hardness and low friction, superior to anodising or plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO). Fast moving parts in various machinery and engines have a longer life, whilst being easier to produce. Manufacturers of machinery in various sectors such as textiles, packaging, aerospace, food, motor sport, luxury goods, are sought for manufacturing and commercial agreements with technical assistance, and licensing.

Partner sought

Type of partner sought: industry Specific area of partner sought: manufacturers of wear-resistant parts in sectors such as textile and packaging machinery, automotive, aerospace, food machinery, medical implants, luxury items. Role of partner sought: to specify manufactured parts in the UK; in the case of larger volumes to implement the technology under license and commission plant under a commercial agreement with technical assistance. The UK company will assist with the individual protocols.

Description

A UK innovative company has been commercialising a new coating technique for about ten years. Their patented technology focuses on nanoceramic coating on metals and functionalisation of ceramic surfaces. Nanoceramic coatings are particularly useful in fast moving parts in environments with high wear or elevated temperature. These have to be wear resistant (sometimes corrosion resistant) and have low friction. The UK company’s technology has successfully been implemented in machinery for weaving and packaging in parts such as shuttles, rollers, discs, guides. Also, marine and motor sport companies have started using it. There are technologies on the market for wear resistance and low friction such as anodising and plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO). There is always room for improvement. The patented electrochemical treatment is characterised by a denser structure with no pores and high homogeneity. It also performs better on complex shapes. The resulting hardness (twice that of chrome) and low roughness allow for less polishing needed. Also, no pre-treatment is needed in this environmentally friendly process. In terms of materials coated, aluminium is the most common, as a substitute for steel. Others include Mg, Nb, various alloys, and early results have been demonstrated with Ti and Zr (biocompatible coatings for medical and dental implants). In addition to manufacturers of packaging and textile machinery, the UK company seeks manufacturing agreements in emergent fields. These may include aerospace, various titanium products, transport and engine parts (Al pistons, turbochargers), luxury items, but also food and medical industry. The UK company would coat the components in their own plant. In case of large volume demand, it will make economic sense to shift the manufacturing to the partners. The UK company are open to licensing, to transfer the know-how to the partner company. During the construction of new plant, a commercial agreement with technical assistance would also be necessary in addition to the license agreement. The UK company would have to build parts of the plant as they are rather specific.

Advantages and innovations

Compared to anodising and plasma electrolytic oxidation(PEO), the coating is more homogenous and pore-free, and has lower surface roughness. Also, it conditions no pre-treatment. The advantages: environmental benefits aside, the technology produces harder, smoother and longer lasting components with less effort.

Development stage

Already on the market

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patents granted


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