Innovators set to improve wear resistant coatings with the aid of nanotechnology

Funding has been granted by UK’s Innovation Agency to engineer novel wear resistant coatings applied via high kinetic energy spray processes

Monitor Coatings Ltd, a Castolin Eutectic company specialised in Surface Engineering in North Tyneside, has been co-funded by UK’s Innovation Agency to work in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, a university that places industrial collaboration at the heart of their research. This study aims to develop a new coating system using a compact HVOF  process coupled with nano-enabled feedstock materials. Three coating systems will be developed (replacing hard chrome plating) capable of withstanding the aggressive high temperature wear environment during continuous casting.  It is estimated that the down selected coating will provide an extended service life of at least 3 times compared to existing coating solutions. 

The production costs for Billet Continuous Casting steel will drop substantially, measured as “a £ per tonne saving” against current production costs. This research is the result of the downturn in the UK steel industry, with profitability down by 80% in 2012 from the pre-crisis peak reached in 2008. Production costs in 2014 and 2015 are still at one of the highest levels ever and UK mills found themselves squeezed, competing in persistently tight global markets.

Dr Spyros Kamnis, the Research and Development Manager of Monitor Coatings, said: ‘I'm delighted that Innovate UK have been able to support another exciting project and help our organisation to open up new markets by taking our existing products to the next level. We are thrilled to be working together with the University of Nottingham for the development of novel nanotechnology-based multicomponent thermal spray coating systems that are highly resistant to degradation due to wear. The University of Nottingham coming third in the General Engineering Panel for Research Power   in the UK in the last Research Excellence Framework  is the ideal partner to help us turn concepts into reality and tackle some of the major challenges facing the economy and the environment.’