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Products with complex functional surfaces (Made in Europe Partnership) (RIA)

Surface treatments are an integral part of any manufacturing process. Surface treatments include many disciplines, such as painting/coating/printing (spray, powder, dip coating, inkjet etc.), plating/implantation (electroplating, vacuum plating/coating, etc.), thermal treatments (annealing, thermo-chemical processes, etc.), laser-based treatments (annealing, texturing, etc.), additive manufacturing, micro manufacturing (micro electrical discharge machining, micro milling, etc.) chemical and electrochemical treatments (anodizing, electropolishing, chemical deposition, etc.), biochemical treatments, etching (wet etching, plasma/dry etching, also for texturing).

While the integration of these treatment technologies into a manufacturing line has been well reported, the technologies as such need to be adapted for each particular profile. In addition, with progressively more complex and customised requirements on shape, material and functionality, the demands on efficient and flexible surface treatments are increasing. In a transition towards a sustainable production, with a substantially lower environmental footprint, the demands are even higher.

The projects under this topic should address the following:

  • Develop new surface treatments specifically targeting and enabling end-products with the purpose of reducing the end-products’ energy usage and/or environmental footprint. This may include co-design of product geometry and surface properties;
  • Use of innovative production technologies for further functional integration and miniaturisation in order to reduce environmental footprints and resource use of products;
  • Integrate the new surface treatments in a manufacturing line for profiles with complex shape or multimaterial content, with clear metrics on its efficiency during operation;
  • Develop new business models and strategies for the uptake of these new technologies and with clear objectives on how to expand the uptake to other sectors and other applications.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.

Research must build on existing standards or contribute to standardisation. Interoperability for data sharing should be addressed. Additionally, a strategy for skills development should be presented, associating social partners when relevant.

All projects should build on or seek collaboration with existing projects and develop synergies with other relevant European, national or regional initiatives, funding programmes and platforms.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership Made in Europe.