The COMPETE project's aim is to set up a coating process
applied on metallic or composite molds by plasma spraying
of quasicrystalline materials. Indeed, their structure
give to these materials specific properties which will
confer no stick properties to mold surface.
Quasicrystalline coatings seem to have other interesting
properties, such as wear resistance, scratch resistance
that must increase molds lifetime. This industrial set up
is a great challenge because it will suppress release
agents now used which are made of siloxane resin (1%)
diluted in organic solvents (99%) containing
chlorofluorocarbon (C.F.C.). According to new legislation
of the "Protocole de Montreal" the whole industrial tool
shall conform to international measures against volatile
organic components (V.O.C.). This C.F.C. based release
agents will be forbidden to avoid any danger for
operators health during process and to suppress any
atmosphere damage (ozone layer). This problem, common to
the whole industrial manufacturing of composite parts has
just begun to be taken into account as soon as a cost
estimation of exhausting equipment is required.
Another industrial field uses huge quantities of
release agents for gasket manufacturing in the automotive
industry. In this case, release oil based agents are
sprayed (90% in the atmosphere, 10% on the mold) at each
cycle. Through these 2 industrial examples, the whole
molding industry is concerned as soon as release agent
In addition to this environnement aspect, the
"COMPETE" project will have 3 other main objectives :
Improve the composite parts and gasket quality.
Increase the process productivity.
Improve human security (production operation).
The COMPETE project will consist of an innovant
approach using the specific properties of new materials
coatings (i.e. quasicrystals) and will allow to consider
in the future the suppression of release agents solved
and their toxic solvents.
However, according to the first technical information
based on experimental jobs, the setting up of the
coatings appears to be difficult. The quasicrystalline
materials are the purpose of fundamental research in
order to understand their properties, their structure and
to develop new alloys. Moreover, plasma spraying applied
to these alloys has already opened the way to promising
applications (non stick for cookware ustensils,
tribology). Important setting up have allowed to
characterise the properties of these coatings on
different substrates (aluminium steel and copper alloys).
The project will specifically aim at meeting the
standards (technical properties, material mold
morphology) used in the manufacturing industry.
Besides, mastering the treatment conditions in order
to obtain optimized non stick properties is becoming
essential in terms of reliability, environnement
protection, safety and productivity improvements. In a
more global way, the project will try to offer a
breakthrough to the European industry by improving the
use conditions of non polluting industrial mold coating
The Consortium consists of industrial companies as
well as laboratories and will realize the following key
Fit quasicrystals with substrate nature
Find the right plasma spraying parameters to be
applied according to the surface morphology to be
Characterize surface coatings in order to define
chemical, physical and mechanical properties of
Validate on an industrial scale the non stick
properties of these coatings, both on metallic and
composite molds of the different organic matrix
POLYESTER, POLYURETHANE, BMI resins...) of composite
parts and gaskets.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
77423 Marne La Vallée