Partnering opportunity

Highly resistive to wear and corrosion coating for anodized alumina offered by Lithuanian research institute for license or commercial agreements.

Summary

A Lithuanian scientific research institute offers a novel technology to improve the wear and corrosion resistance of anodized alumina. The technology employs bio-based fillers to coat the anodized alumina. The innovation is useful for automotive, robotics, mechanical engineering or other high-tech companies. License or commercial agreements with technical assistance are sought.

Partner sought

Seeking industrial partners in automotive, robotics, mechanical engineering or other high-tech companies. In general, any company that uses anodized alumina in their products can make use of the technology and reduce degradation of mechanical parts due to corrosion and friction. License agreements or commercial agreements with technical assistance are sought in order to transfer the technology and the institute is going to provide all the necessary support in the process.

Description

Lithuanian scientific research institute is one of the largest technology centers in Lithuania. Around 500 researchers, engineers and technicians conduct the research and development activities in applied physics and chemistry. The institute publishes around 200 papers yearly in peer reviewed scientific journals, as well as obtains patents and commercializes innovative technologies. The novel technology on offer is an improved resistance to wear and corrosion of anodized alumina (alumina - aluminum oxide), which is achieved by impregnation in bio-based filler. Anodized alumina coatings, in general, improve surface hardness, corrosion resistance, paintability and other important properties of a mechanical part made of aluminum. These coatings are often employed in robotics, laser casings or other high-tech equipment, but their resistance to wear is poor. Inherent brittleness, high porosity, pronounced roughness and other factors lead to rapid abrasion, increased friction and major surface damages. Currently in industry these properties are somewhat improved with teflon or solid lubricant coatings. However, deposition of teflon layers on anodized alumina coatings requires high temperatures and expensive materials. Moreover, teflon only acts as a barier lubricant and is not expected to form any frictionless films or penetrate into pores. The new technology employs a bio-based filler (called 18Z) which requires much lower temperatures, but exhibits exceptional properties. The technology has been tested on custom-built AA pistons for miniaturized 2-cycle engines. The pistons were impregnated in 18Z and their friction and corrosion were tested both in a lab (see attached pictures 1 and 2) and in the field (see picture 3). Piston prototypes were tested in the engines of automobiles and they lasted 6-8 times longer than those without 18Z, which usually break down due to friction increase. Impregnated pistons appeared much less damaged by wear after dismantling the engines. The innovation is useful for automotive, robotics, mechanical engineering or other high-tech companies. In general, any company that uses anodized alumina in their production can make use of the technology and reduce degradation of mechanical parts due to corrosion and friction. License agreements or commercial agreements with technical assistance are sought in order to transfer the technology and the institute is going to provide all the necessary support in the process.

Advantages and innovations

The new technology, bio-based impregnation of anodized alumina, dramatically reduces wear and corrosion of anodized surfaces on commercial Al alloys of 1xxx, 5xxx, 6xxx and 7xxx series. The coating does not need excessive heating and relies on impregnation of sustainable-chemistry based compounds and formulations. Instead of acting just as a plain barrier, these compounds migrate into the pores of the anodized alumina, react with the coating constituents, become activated under friction zone conditions and behave as tribologically-effective fillers. Surface hardness, strength and other mechanical properties stay nearly the same. Corrosion resistance remains excellent. Prototypes have already shown great performance as piston coatings for internal combustion engines, sports equipment, and other areas. Anodizing and coating application is performed on pilot-scale up to 2 m² anodized area.

Development stage

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