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Past EU & UK Funded R&D Projects

Completed R&D projects


Project: Q3060B, Sealing and Surface Engineering Technologies for USC Steam Turbine Plant (700-760C), SURF 700
Increasing steam temperatures beyond currently accepted limits to 700-760°C (ultra super critical temperatures) provide efficiency benefits over both standard and super critical plants. Major projects such as AD700 have been undertaken to develop the technology for major components such as boiler components, turbine rotors and casings and this technology is now being demonstrated in an operating power station in Germany. However, this increase in temperature also has significant impact on the long-term performance of other downsteam components, including rings and brush seals and on the performance of hard-facings and protective coatings.

Project: J3019E, Development of Flow Simulation and Process Control Tools for Thermal Spray CoatingF (FLOSS)
As a cost-effective method to produce wear resistant, high temperature corrosion coating products, thermal spraying offers greater thickness capability, no part size restrictions with minimal noxious waste. However, complex multiphase flow generated in thermal spraying makes process control very difficult. Supported by a consortium including coating equipment manufacturers, service providers, end users and research providers, this project has proposed innovative methods to significantly reduce current costs of established high quality coating. Closely aligned with the competition theme, the main objectives of this project are: to simulate the multiphase flow; to develop flow function models integrated with CAE design and simulation tools; to develop a process control database to mininize the operation complexity and improve the quality of coating products.

Project: TP/4/MHP/6/I/22066, High Corrosion Resistant Coatings for Biomass Plant (HiCoat)
The project will develop and demonstrate low cost coating technology to increase component reliability, extend plant life and increase operating performance of biomass-fuelled power units. It will address a major technical challenge of improving the high temperature corrosion and erosion resistance of components exposed to biomass combustion environments, without significantly increasing overall fabrication costs. A move to cheaper fuels based on organic waste, chicken litter, and straw based fibres, creates an extremely hostile high temperature environment containing relatively high levels of chloride and sulphur compounds, together with the occurrence of ash-based erosion. The project consortium represents a supply chain with complementary expertise to develop and exploit the new coating technology. It includes 4 SMEs, 2 large companies and 1 RTO and 1 consultancy, and covers both small and large-scale biomass power generation.

Project: NNE5-2001-00459, Coatings for Supercritical Steam CyclesS (SUPERCOAT)
The future power generation steam turbines are being designed to have higher efficiencies and to meet the stringent environmental regulations, ensuring plant reliability, availability and maintainability without compromising cost. Higher efficiencies can be achieved by increased temperatures. Therefore, the operating temperature is expected to rise from 550ºC to 650ºC and from the materials perspective two approaches are being followed in order to achieve this goal: 1) the development of new materials with both optimum mechanical properties and oxidation resistance at higher temperatures and 2) for the first time in Europe, the use of oxidation-resistant coatings, which can be applied onto high-strength steels. The work described in the following is aimed at the second approach.

Project: 508320, Development of Simple and Reliable on-line Monitoring Equipment for Thermal Spraying Control (DESIRE)
Conventional optical pyrometry methods do not always yield a satisfactory result in case of temperature monitoring in complicated industrial processes such as thermal spray. For example, measuring the temperature of heated particles in thermal plasma spraying jets requires recognizing of a measured object by solving a mathematical problem. These algorithms should provide good robustness to ensure real time temperature monitoring. The project describes system and method for temperature diagnostic utilizing mathematical and physical models together with a “black box” device for monitoring certain parameters real-time in thermal spray.

Project: 101167, Advanced Surface Protection for Improved Renewable Energy (ASPIRE)
The utilisation of biomass fuels, fired in dedicated boiler plants or co-fired with fossil fuels, provides a method of generating continuous renewable energy and, combined with CO2 capture and storage, provides one of the means of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, whilst helping to ensure security of power supply. However, biomass combustion products can be challenging, particularly in terms of the risks of excessive rates of metal loss of high temperature boiler components due to fireside corrosion. It is considered that the development and use of effective corrosion resistant coatings would enable power plant to operate at higher temperature & efficiencies and utilise lower grade fuels. The project is intended to build on the knowledge gained from the TSB co-funded ASPECT project, which was concerned with the development and evaluation of coating materials for advanced fossil fuel plants, and to address issues related to biomass derived flue gas chemistries.

Project: ENER/FP7EN/249745, Meeting the Materials and Manufacturing Challenge for Ultra High Efficiency PF Power Plants with CCS (NextGenPower)
Coal will remain for a long time a major fuel source for electricity production. As coal combustion leads to relative high CO2 production per kWh, Carbon Capture and Storage has become an important technology to comply with the CO2reduction targets set by the EC. However, CCS has the drawback that the electrical efficiency of the coal fired power plant will drop significantly. To overcome this drawback, it is necessary to increase the base efficiency of the power plant or increase the biomass co-firing share as this is a CO2 neutral energy source. Increasing the base efficiency of new plants or increasing the share of biomass are both limited due to quality of the present available coatings and materials used for the construction of the plant components. The presently used materials in the boiler, interconnecting pipework and steam turbine cannot withstand operating temperatures higher than 620°C. Live steam temperatures higher than 750°C are needed to compensate for the efficiency loss caused by CCS and achieve a net efficiency of 45%. NextGenPower is a unique integrated project as it will demonstrate the application of new alloys and coatings in boiler, turbine and the interconnecting pipework, which can be integrated in existing and new power plants.

Project: 101258, Enhancing the performance of aerospace coatings using functional nanoparticles (SENCOAT)
Aerospace coatings are expected to perform in demanding environments and are subjected to very high levels of UV exposure which degrades their structure. This makes the coatings more susceptible to erosion through high speed impacts with dust particles and vapours droplets and can eventually lead to operational failure. Coatings on wind turbine blades (particularly offshore) are prone to similar degradation mechanisms. The project aims to develop a nanoparticle-based solution coating that simultaneously improves both the UV protection properties and the mechanical resilience of high performance coatings. This will extend re-painting intervals, significantly reducing maintenance costs and contribute to the sustainability of these high growth markets in the longer term.

Project: 101281, REACh Compliant Hexavalent Chrome Replacement for Corrosion Protection (HITEA)
Cr6+ chemistry dominates the field of corrosion protection; however, its elimination by 2016 as currently recommended by REACh, requires new alternates to be found. Some alternatives have been proposed, but there is no wide acceptance of them and the acceptance criteria and test regime to support new developments, other than salt fog testing, which is widely seen as inadequate, do not exist. This is of particular concern to the aerospace industry as critical aerospace applications require the use of “paint finishes to protect the base metal from corrosion for up to 40 years to ensure the safety of passengers” (ASD position paper to ECHA, dated 13 September 2011). The development of valid, industry wide test methodologies, application of these to the development of REACh compliant replacements suitable for rapid deployment before 2016 is thus required. A consortium has been brought together to address this issue over 2 years at a cost of £2.2M.


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