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Completed R&D Projects

The following R&D projects have been completed.

Low Cost, Long Life Photovoltaics

Contact: Dr Kevin Cooke or Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board

Aim of the project: To develop low cost, long life, high efficiency photovoltaic cells, based on doped TiO2 materials. The project led by Teer Coatings Ltd, built on the University of Bolton’s unique capability in materials modeling, combined with device design and fabrication. Teer Coatings researched the reactive magnetron sputtering of the doped metal oxides, with the potential for industrial scale up. Optical and electronic properties of the materials were evaluated by Hubei University, China through their partnership with the University of Bolton.

Project Partners:


Nano-Engineered Platinum Catalyst Layers For Fuel Cells (NECLASS)

Contact: Dr Joanne Hampshire
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board

Aim of the project: To create new platinum based catalyst layer designs for fuel cells. Novel micro- and nano-structured materials were developed to enable a significantly increased oxygen reduction mass activity of platinum within the fuel cell catalyst layers.

Project Partners:


Production Systems For Value Added Cluster Technology (PROSVACT)

Contact: Dr Dmitrij Ievlev
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board

Aim of the project: To develop vacuum deposition technology for the creation of alloy and core shell atomic and nano clusters at high rates, and the evaluation of deposited clusters in bio- and catalytic applications. Teer Coatings Ltd led this project.

Project Partners:


HydroGEN

Contact: Dr Xiaoling Zhang-Teer
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board

Aim of the project: To develop novel alkaline electrolyser systems to further reduce the cost of electrolysers and improve the economics of the production of hydrogen via electrolysis. Teer Coatings Ltd researched vacuum deposition of non-precious metal catalysts for increased activity and reduced cost.

Project Partners:


Extended Life Microtooling By Advanced Coating Technology (ELMACT)

Contact: Dr Shicai Yang
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC

Aim of the project: To extend the life and enabling the re-use of microtooling through the use of advanced surface treatments and coatings. Teer Coatings Ltd. led the ELMACT project.

Project Partners:


AMBIO: Advanced Nanostructured Surfaces For The Control Of Biofouling

Contact: Dr. Parnia Navabpour
Funded by: European Commission through its 6th Framework programme

The aim of AMBIO [1] was to provide a combination of fundamental and application-oriented research that would lead to the development of novel antibiofouling coatings which work through their physico-chemical properties rather than the release of biocides. Teer Coatings Ltd.‘s involvement in the project resulted in the successful development of fouling resistant siloxane coatings using PACVD. Underwater optical windows coated with the Teer Coatings Ltd. coating showed a 25-50 % reduction of biofouling compared to uncoated windows which meant that the period over which useful data could be collected increased from a few days (control, uncoated) to approximately 3 weeks [2].

Project Partners:


ACTIVATION: Super High Energy Milling In The Production Of Hard Alloys, Ceramic and Composite Materials

Contact: Dr. Joanne Stallard
Funded by: European commission – Specific Targeted Research Projects (STRP)

Aim of the project: The development and design of new super high-energy planetary mills; To study the fundamental aspects of mechanical activation; The development of new materials with improved performance; The development of high volumes production of nano-scale high performance materials at low cost; The development of technologies of recycling solid materials; Investigation of powders and materials produced in a full scale technological line.


Coatings for Improved Performance of Cutting Tools Used for the Machining of Titanium Alloys

Contact: Dr Kevin Cooke or Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: UK DTI through Knowledge Transfer Partnership

The aims of the project:

Project partner:


Development of Non-Stick Coatings for Polymer Processing

Contact: Dr Parnia Navabpour
Funded by: UK DTI through Knowledge Transfer Partnership

The aims of the project:

Project partner:


Improving Competitiveness and Conserving The Environment Through High Durability Nanocomposite Coatings (Hidur) * *Contact: Dr Hailin Sun Funded by: European FP5-GROWTH

Fuel efficiencies and CO2 emission reductions for ground based transportation can be made by improving the wear resistance of aluminium alloys. Available surface protection treatments for aluminium and steel auto-engine components were becoming increasingly inadequate because of recent changes in lubricating oils. A related problem was the need to extend the service life of gears used in wind turbine generators, to assure sustained power generation. The project aimed to address these problems through the creation of exceptionally wear resistant nanocomposite coating materials. Plasma based coating technologies were exploited due to an existing over reliance on “wet” deposition technologies, like electroplating and electro less deposition, which have undesirable environmental impact [2].

Project partners:


Developing an appropriate drilling test to represent the performance of PVD coatings deposited on cutting tools.

Contact: Mrs Neda Thomas
Funded by: UK DTI through Knowledge Transfer Partnership

The aims of the project were:

Project partner:


Hybrid: Rapid and Low Cost Deposition of Coatings Through A Novel Hybrid Plasma Source

Contact: Dr Kevin Cooke or Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: European FP5-GROWTH

This project aimed to reduce the costs of PVD coating and so enable wider take-up of this technology in general, specifically tackling the need for low cost, high quality coatings in:

In an attempt to achieve this, novel hybrid plasma sources for the deposition of very high quality coatings at very high rates both under vacuum and at atmospheric pressure were developed. Evaluation and testing of the hybrid plasma sources and coatings deposited by them was undertaken.

Project partners:
• Enterprise Ireland
• Uppsala University, Sweden
• Airbus, Spain
• Centro Ricerche Fiat, Italy
DWH, Germany




ISOTECH: Deployment of In-Situ Optical Monitoring Techniques for Tailoring Thin Film Properties for Specific Advanced Industrial Applications

Contact: Dr Kevin Cooke or Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: European Framework Programme

P<>. The Isotech project was initiated by the demand from manufacturers of razor and industrial blades, bearings and seals, and piezoelectric quartz oscillators for improved product and component performance via the use of thin film surface coatings. Optimisation of these coating properties may be attained through in-situ, (during film growth), monitoring of their stoichiometry, composition, microstructure and thickness. For the purpose of in-situ monitoring of the coating during deposition, a low-cost, high-speed spectroscopic ellipsometer was developed within the project and further improved into a commercially available instrument with distinct competitive advantages.




REMAST: A Certified Reference Material for the Scratch Test

Contact: Dr Kevin Cooke or Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: European Framework Programme

The Remast project was aimed at the development of a certified reference material (CRM) as a means of controlling the proper functioning of a scratch test instrument. The technical work involved obtaining a CRM for the scratch test. The work included a feasibility study, during which the feasibility of two candidate real world reference materials, titanium nitride (TiN) and diamond like carbon (DLC) coatings on a high speed steel substrate were evaluated. After mid-term, the selected material (DLC) was certified following the standard BCR procedures. In addition, a considerable effort was devoted to improving the scratch stylus manufacturing process. A workshop on the development and standardisation of test methods for engineering coatings was also organised.




MAGPLAT: Magnesium Plating and Assembly for Advanced Applications

Contact: Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: European Framework Programme

This project was aimed at developing environmentally friendly coatings/surface treatments for magnesium alloys, to provide corrosion resistance. TCL involvement was aimed at developing conductive coatings required to withstand temperature cycling and moisture tests, or 48/96hrs salt spray, for space and electronic applications.

The Development of Long Life Coated Artificial Hip Joints

Contact: Mrs Susan Field
Funded by: UK DTI (SMART project)

Graphit-iC™ coatings were applied to CoCrMo test pieces and hip joint couples for wear tests and simulator testing. The reduction in wear rate achieved on wear tests suggests that the life of implanted hip joints could be significantly extended. Further simulator testing is needed at this stage and work was continued via a CASE award and collaboration with implant manufacturers. Equipment for the deposition of the coating has been scaled up to cope with large batch production and is in daily use for a variety of applications including automotive.

ACABONI: Amorphous Carbon-Boron-Nitrogen Coatings for High Temperature Applications in Cutting Tools

Contact: Dr Shicai Yang
Funded by: European Framework Programme

The project was completed successfully. The sputtered carbon based hard coatings developed (pure carbon or C/Cr) appeared to have much better tribological and wear resistant properties in terms of low wear and low friction under high load conditions. The cutting performance (gear cutting) was better than commercial TiN hard coatings in terms of lower cutting force and higher feed rates.

References:
[1] http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/ambio/index.aspx
[2] https://connect.innovateuk.org/c/document_library/get_file?p_l_id=70035&folderId=76814&name=DLFE-15302.pdf
[3] http://cordis.europa.eu/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=proj.document&PJ_RCN=4887086


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