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PROtective composite Coatings via Electrodeposition and Thermal Spraying

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - PROCETS (PROtective composite Coatings via Electrodeposition and Thermal Spraying)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2018-05-01 al 2019-06-30

PROCETS main target is to deliver protective coatings covering a wide range of applications such as automotive, aerospace, metal-working, oil and gas and cutting tools industries via thermal spray and electroplating methods by utilizing environmentally friendly materials, compared to the currently used. This will allow the replacement of the hazardous process of hard chromium plating and WC-Co coatings via thermal spray.
A. Electroplating
To select the optimum combination of hard and self-lubricant nano-particles to be integrated in a hexavalent chromium free electrolytic bath based on the mechanical performance of the composite coatings. To integrate the nano-particles in the electrolytic baths and formulate stable baths with excellent dispersion and prolonged lifetime. To develop a direct current electroplating method in pilot lines for applying PROCETS composite coatings following the requirements of the respective end users, and a pulse current method exhibiting superior functional properties compared to coatings produced by DC.
B. Thermal spray
To develop green carbide powders by efficient mechanical alloying procedure to be used as feedstock for thermal spraying. Development of a controlled and reproducible enhanced process based on thermal spray to optimize green carbide coatings able to be used to replace WC-Co coatings at industrial level. To evaluate and fulfill the application requirements.
C. Demonstration and validation
To set up, integrate the nano-particles and operate the electroplating pilot lines for the application of PROCETS composite coatings in specific components to be tested in operational environment. To integrate the thermal spray process in an industrial pilot-line and evaluate the life-in-service of the coated components. To apply the new developed protective coatings by both DC and PC electroplating methods in rods to be integrated in shock absorbers, and cutting edges of links to be integrated in chain saws. To apply the new thermal spray coatings in rollers to be integrated in laminating roller machines for steel industry. To apply thermal spray and electroplating coatings in components of clay manufacturing industry machines.
The main target of the PROCETS project is to take advantage of the use of nano-particles for the production of composite coatings with equal or superior properties to the hazardous Cr+6 coatings produced by electroplating or the WC-Co coatings produced by thermal spray. All necessary modifications that have to be carried out for the integration of the particles in the pilot lines will be assessed and developed during the project.
For the electrodeposition process, 4 different types of electrolytes with various nanoparticles are investigated in order to find the best alternative solution to Cr+6 coatings.
A. Electroplating
1) Production of nano-composite coatings with enhanced mechanical properties compared to the hard Cr and Co-WC and introduction of new functionalities to the coatings.
2) Improvement of existing electroplating lines by appropriate modifications that will lead to the successful integration of nano-particles.
3) Release of electroplating industry from the hard chromium plating that will be restricted in the coming years by EC regulations.
4) Improvement in structure and morphology of composite coatings that consequently will increase their resist to wear, corrosion, impact damage and fretting.
5) Improvement of the ED process in terms of reproducibility, uniformity, robustness and yield.
6) Establishing the pulse plating procedure for the production of novel nano-composite metal alloy matrix coatings with superior functional properties.
7) Optimization of the whole process and improvement of the production yield at pilot scale by development and implementation of techniques suitable for process monitoring and quality assessment.
B. Thermal spray
1) The adoption of ''green'' cermets.
2) The mechanical properties of coatings applied by HVOF and CGS are similar to the WC-Co ones, with the advantage of a drastic decrease in terms of weight.
3) The starting raw materials are cheaper and their price is well consolidated and does not suffer of market trends.

PILOT PLANT (PP) 1
Thermal spray coatings for those industrial sectors where high hardness, wear resistance and corrosion and chemical resistance are required.
Service Offered: In house service for coating products. Prototype production of greenware TiC-Fe alloy coating. Consulting Services on setting up industrial lines
Industrial Applications (IA): For bearings and joints, wear pads, pistons, dampers and blades, For shocks absorbers, piston rings, engine valves, fuel injection housing, For sheeter rolls, calender rolls, winder drums, For scrapers, crushers tips, mandrels and risers, teeth of digging shovels, Pipeline valves, pumps, seals, ball valves, Shaft sleeves, impellers/diffusers, wear rings, ball valves, Storage barrels, hydraulic cylinder rods, mandrels and risers, teeth of digging shovels, Gydroturbine buckets, turbine shaft bearings, shafts.

PP 2
Thermal Spray coatings obtained by Cold Gas Spray for different application areas where the wear resistance is the main requirement.
Service offered: In house service for coating products by Cold Gas Spray with a green alternative
IA: Shocks rods, piston rings, engine valves, fuel injection housing, Landing gear, bearings, shafts, Near net shape parts, Drive shafts, transmission gear, piston rods, bearings, Mandrels, drive shafts, flow diverters, bearings, Plastics (rollers), Nuclear Parts (control-rod cluster tubes, valves, gates).

PP 3
Metal parts with better wear performance and corrosion resistance.
Service Offered: In house service for direct current plating for various products. Product Offered: Electrolytic Baths with Integrated nano-particles
Technical Data Targeted: {-hardness > 900HV, -wear performance, -corrosion resistance, -current efficiency}
IA: For Rods for shock absorbers, for cutting parts and for miller blocks, metal parts of the machinery

PP 4
Impose of Pulse Current regime for the production of nano composite coatings exhibiting enhanced mechanical and chemical properties.
Service Offered: In house service for electroplated coatings for various products. Product Offered: Electrolytic baths with integrated nano-particles
Technical Data Targeted: {− hardness > 900HV, − corrosion resistant coatings >500h in Salt spray chamber, − wear resistant coatings, − enhanced tribological properties, − strong adhesion of coating to the substrate, − efficient process}
IA: The coatings can be used for shock absorber rods, pistons, for valves, for bearings and gears and for cutting link components

PP 5
Powder materials for thermal spraying processes working both with flame or in cold conditions. Product Offered: Nanostructured Powders for thermal spraying process, powder metallurgy and laser-based manufacturing.
Technical Data Targeted: {Nanostructured powders suitable for thermal spraying process. Powders for TS applications:
- Cermets powders suitable for thermal spray (TS) and cold gas spraying (CGS) able to deliver nanostructured coatings to replace the currently available WC-Co based powders
IA: Material for component of hydro turbine (Pelton, Francis)), Material for coatings for bearing shaft (oil pump)), Material for coatings for scrapers and mixer blades), Material for Coatings for rollers for metal foils).
Project concept