Title: Development of Innovative Nanocomposite Coatings for Magnesium Casting Protection (NANOMAG) Objectives: The aim of this project is to develop new, corrosion and abrasion resistant coatings for the protection of magnesium parts, by using clean, environmentally friendly and economic processes. This will enable the widespread use of light magnesium alloys and the replacement of hazardous coating processes that are used today for their protection. Broader use of magnesium is nowadays constrained by the susceptibility of magnesium to corrosion and abrasion. The project therefore intends to develop highly corrosion and abrasion protective coatings by the use of four different optimised coating technologies developed specifically for the different type of applications, for magnesium parts with additional functional properties as demanded by automotive and aerospace industry.
Description of the work:
The project will face the corrosion and wear protection of magnesium alloys by using clean, environmental friendly and economic processes like PECVD, PAPVD, Sol-Gel Technology and k-process. The research approach followed is the development of appropriate coatings for the applications considered and will involve the following phases :
- To investigate and characterise the chemistry and mechanisms of barrier layer formation for magnesium and magnesium alloys and to study the wear mechanisms of magnesium alloys in order to identify viable routes for improving the wear resistance.
- To study and define a PECVD process for depositing protective layers on Mg alloys.
- To develop protective layers on Mg alloys using PAPVD and mechanically impacted Sol-Gel Technology to replace the environmentally toxic hexavalent chromium plating.
- To develop protective composite layers on Mg alloys using K-process.
- To optimise the coating technologies for the different type of magnesium applications.
- To evaluate the wear, corrosion and adhesion properties of the PECVD, PAPVD, Sol-Gel, k-process for different applications.
- To evaluate the economical and technological viability of scaling-up of innovative coating methods.
- To compare the environmental impact (LCA) for the different coatings techniques.
Expected results and exploitation plan:
The successful completion of the project will result in the substitution of standard coating processes, critical in terms of costs and environmental impact, with innovative clean processes, optimised in terms of production costs. This will reduce emissions, effluent and waste, and increase the use of lightweight magnesium structures and components. Corrosion resistance coatings on magnesium components have several application in areas that include :
- The automotive industry : as it is currently facing the increasing challenges to provide solutions that reduce transportation related environmental impact and fuel consumption.
- The aviation industry : to reduce fuel consumption as highlighted by the Fourth Community Aeronautical Days, Hamburg, January 2001.
- The space industry : as the impact of weight on the economy of launchers is still more pronounced. The expected time period for full exploitation of results is "medium to long term".
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
HP12 2AJ High Wycombe
2400 Le Locle
CB1 6GX Cambridge
84100 Beer Sheva
10129 Torino (Turin)