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Final Report Summary - GLASCOAT (High-performance glass-based coatings)

The GLASCOAT project aimed to implement a variation of thermal spraying technique, the so-called flame spraying, coupled with infrared crystallisation in order to form glass compositions which would enable thick coatings, as well as to employ the sol-gel technique in order to provide the experimental glasses with characteristics and properties, such as expansion coefficient, viscosity, permeability, mechanical and chemical, tailored to flame spraying.

The flame spraying method has been deployed due to the fact that the available industrial processes up until that point in time, such as enamelling, exhibited disadvantages, namely the number of substrate materials which could be coated was restricted due to the high temperatures which were involved for melting glass particles or large components could not be treated as this method entailed the use of a furnace. The project achieved in overcoming these weaknesses by developing a series of tailor-made glass compositions the selection of which stemmed mainly from materials modelling and their experimental trial. This process did not require the use of a furnace; therefore glass-based coatings could be deposited on large components. Furthermore, the sol-gel process was employed in order to enable the deposition of nanocomposite coatings such as glass-alumina, the processing of which formerly presupposed high fusing temperatures.

Moreover, computational models for simulating and optimising the process conditions have been employed such as the depiction of temperature of either a particle or a coating surface in function with time. Finally, spray-guns designs have been developed for the flame spraying.

The high-performance glass-based coatings could find use in potential applications such as in domestic burner caps, chemical reactors, injection moulding machines manufactured from aluminium as well as in concrete construction components.

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