Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

ROBOCOAT Report Summary

Project ID: 717484

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ROBOCOAT (HARD CHROME REPLACEMENT FOR AUTOMOTIVE MOULDS)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

HVOF (High Velocity Oxy Fuel) has proved to be a competitive, environmentally friendly substitute for hard chrome-plating, but due to the complexity of the surface of moulds in the automotive sector, it has never been used to coat them. Our goal is to overcome this limitation and to apply this innovative technology to the coating of the moulds in this sector.

Thanks to our new industrial process, suppliers on the automotive market will be able to enjoy the following advantages:
- a drastic reduction in the time required for coating the moulds;
- the capability of making changes to the moulds during the coating process;
- simplified maintenance of the moulds, with the capability of restyling them if required.

All activities carried out in the feasibility have demonstrated the validity of the business idea.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The Pilot Trials have clearly demonstrated that the HVOF technology can be an effective substitute of Hard-chrome plating also in the case of a complex surface of a mould: the measures of different parameters executed show that the HVOF process can give to the surface of a complex metal part enhanced properties comparable or even superior to those you can obtain with hard-chrome plating.

It has been obtained from a group of customers the confirmation of a deep awareness for the advantages our technology can bring to the process of hard-coating, and the availability to test in a real operational environment our HVOF system.
All potential risks which can harm the project have been identified, with the probability they could happen. Risk-mitigations have been listed and described, especially for the technical risks.

It has been verified that the new process can achieve a strong reduction of the production costs. This can allow a high flexibility in the pricing policy which is reflected in the future income statement, which appears to be quite promising.
All these results encourage us to continue the project.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Having demonstrated the validity of our idea we can say that, besides the advantages for the carmakers, the following environmental advantages will derive from our project:
- total elimination of sludge left over from the galvanic chrome-plating process, which contains 25% hexavalent chromium. In Europe, 30,000 Kg of this type of sludge are produced every year;
- total elimination of atmospheric emissions of hexavalent chromium;
- over 80% reduction in the consumption of electricity currently used for galvanic baths, with a savings of 115 MWh/year.

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