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Hierarchical Surface Protection, A New Paradigm Toward Functional Multi-Nano-Layered Coatings

Project description

Pioneering ultra-low-wear, self-healing coatings

Surface coating failure not only leads to cosmetic problems but also product failure. For instance, coating failures on steel and concrete constructions are frequent occurrences that are costly to fix. In fact, an estimated two thirds of coating materials suffer from wear and demand annual replacement The EU-funded HIERARCHICAL FUNCOAT project will establish design principles for optimising coatings for ultra-low-wear and self-healing capacities. Specifically, the project will use computer simulations and experiments to improve our understanding of the materials’ removal mechanisms of functional multilayer coatings across scales. It will explore the possibility of ‘hierarchically’ protecting surfaces with a functionally gradient multilayer coating. The aim will be to extend the lifetime of the wear-resistant coatings for different applications.


"It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of the entire coating materials suffer from wear and demand annual substitution. Even a modest few percent reduction in coating failures can significantly impact energy security, energy savings, and environmental benefits. Single-layer coatings fail to sufficiently protect components surface under harsh conditions. Recent progress in the field of “Materials-by-Design” open entirely new possibilities to “hierarchically” protect surfaces by designing functionally-gradient multi-layer coatings. ”. Multi-layer coatings have been a key advancement in extending the lifetime of the wear-resistant coatings for different applications. However, progress toward this scientific resolution has been slowly progressing on an empirical basis. Theoretical understanding and design principles for optimizing the performance of multi-layer coatings are very limited. This proposal aims to take a leap forward to understand and predict material removal mechanisms in multi-layer coatings using a complementary set of computer simulations and validating experiments. Specifically, the research seeks to hierarchically protect material surfaces by tailoring and optimizing the material gradient and layer architecture in a multi-layer coating setup. The main objectives of this research are summarized in three key headings; First, is to shed light on the fundamental understanding of the materials removal mechanisms of Functional Multi-layer Coatings (FMCs) across scales using complementary computer simulations and experiments. This theoretical understanding does not exit today and will be pioneered as the final goal of this proposal. Second, is to establish ""design principles"" for optimizing functionally-gradient and layer-architecture coatings for ultra-low wear and self-healing capacities. Last but not least, is to link and correlate the potential industries with the prospective results."


Net EU contribution
€ 219 312,00
8000 Aarhus C

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Danmark Midtjylland Østjylland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 219 312,00