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Anti-Biofouling Coatings for use in Underwater Applications

Teer Coatings Ltd has developed new fouling resistant coatings using PACVD and hybrid PVD-PACVD processes through the AMBIO (Advanced Nanostructured Surfaces for the Control of Biofouling) project. AMBIO was an R&D Integrated Project funded by the EC, through its 6th Framework Programme. The 5-year project finished in February 2010. During this project, 31 partners collaborated in order to provide a combination of fundamental and application-oriented research leading to the development of novel coatings. These coatings prevent or reduce the adhesion of fouling organisms through the physico-chemical properties of the surface, rather than the release of biocides.

The coatings developed by Teer Coatings Ltd have been extensively tested by AMBIO partners and have been shown to reduce the amount of biofouling in laboratory and end-use conditions. Field trials for optical windows showed that the Teer coating significantly reduced fouling thus extending the period over which useful data could be collected from a few days (control, uncoated) to approximately 3 weeks.

For further information about the AMBIO project, please visit www.ambio.bham.ac.uk.

Miba Group Takes Full Ownership of Teer Coatings

The Board of Directors of Teer Coatings Limited, leader in physical vapour deposition (PVD) equipment and coatings, and the Miba Group today announce that Teer Coatings has been fully acquired by the Miba Group. Miba had already taken a minority share in Teer Coatings in July 2009 and now extends its involvement.

The Miba Group is headquartered in Austria and is one of the leading strategic partners of the international engine and automotive industry. Its product portfolio includes sintered components, engine bearings, friction materials and coatings. Miba products make motor vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft and power plants more efficient, more reliable and more environmentally friendly. Miba was founded in 1927 and has grown into a leading international group employing over 2,700 people across eleven sites worldwide.

Teer Coatings will continue to work closely with Miba’s current coating competence centre: High Tech Coatings (HTC) GmbH. HTC in Vorchdorf and Niklasdorf specializes in polymer coatings, electroplated overlays and PVD coatings. Products and solutions are customized to the application in question. HTC partners with the international automotive industry in development activities.

The joining of forces of Teer Coatings and Miba is a natural partnership that will help Teer Coatings strengthen its market position and will increase the Miba Group’s product portfolio. PVD expertise, within the new Miba Coatings Group, will remain secure in Droitwich with the focus of the site continuing to be on PVD equipment manufacturing and the offering of a world class coating service.

Our clear aim is to strengthen our market position as technology leader over the long term and to become the top provider of competitive, high tech coating solutions on the worldwide market. We strive for profitable growth and becoming an essential partner with our customers so that we can contribute to their innovativeness and competiveness.

Further information on the Miba Group can be found by visiting our group website: www.miba.com.

Nano-Engineered Platinum Catalyst Layers for Fuel Cells

A £1.1 million project aimed at creating new platinum based catalyst layer designs for fuel cells has been awarded funding by the Technology Strategy Board1. Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Ltd is leading the NECLASS project (Nano-Engineered Catalyst Layers and Sub-Structures), and together with partners Qudos Technology Ltd, Teer Coatings Ltd and Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd, is developing novel micro-and nano-structured materials to enable a significantly increased oxygen reduction mass activity of platinum within the fuel cell catalyst layers. Effective use of the precious metal platinum in the catalyst layers is one of the keys to unlocking the widespread commercialisation of the more energy efficient fuel cell power generation technology.

Qudos Technology is investigating micro-scale templating of catalyst layers and interfaces to increase the interfacial area and the access and egress of the reactants and products to the active layer, whereas at the nano-scale Teer Coatings is developing thin conformal Pt coatings onto carbon particulate and fibre materials by physical vapour deposition. Thomas Swan is studying the surface functionalisation of carbon nanotubes for application as the catalyst support in the catalyst layer. Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells will integrate these complementary developments into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and test them in practical fuel cells.

Partner Information:

Teer Coatings Ltd. (TCL)

TCL’s role in NECLASS is to develop systems and PVD methodologies for the “nano” coating of porous substrates, fine particulates and carbon nanotubes.

Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells (JMFC)

Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells is a subsidiary of Johnson Matthey plc, the speciality chemicals company and world leader in advanced materials technology. JMFC is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of fuel cell catalysts, membrane electrode assemblies and other catalysed components to fuel cell developers worldwide. Headquartered at Swindon in the UK, JMFC is capable of researching and fabricating a wide range of developmental and production-scale MEAs.

Qudos Technology Ltd.

Qudos Technology Ltd is a leading UK research and development company specialising in micro and nano-scale technologies. Highly innovative, the company has been based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory since 1992. In 2006, Qudos was designated as a National Prototype Facility; the company continues to give UK and international customers the means to develop device concepts, produce prototypes and to set up production. A highly skilled, experienced team of process engineers are able to perform simple processes like deposition right through to advanced techniques such as nano-imprint, grey-scale masks and advanced etching.
Qudos Technology’s role in the NECLASS project is to perform the prototype manufacture of the micro and nano scale tooling required to enable templated catalyst layer and membrane fabrication.

Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd.

Thomas Swan is one of the largest family owned chemical companies in the UK. It was founded by “Tommy Swan” in 1926 and has been managed by four generations of the Swan family, and as such has been independent for over 80 years. Thomas Swan specialises in Performance and Speciality chemicals, has a turnover of ~£17M with 120 employees and has offices in the UK, USA and China. Between 2001 and 2004, in association with the University of Cambridge, Thomas Swan developed a manufacturing process for single and multi-wall carbon nanotubes. Further work with the University of Oxford focused on purification and dispersion of the nanotubes, and the product was launched under the Elicarb® brand name in April 2004.
Thomas Swan’s role in the NECLASS project is to design, manufacture, purify and functionalise an ideal and optimised carbon nanotube for use as the catalyst support in fuel cells.

[1] The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). For further information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

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