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CleanMOULD: Advanced low friction and fretting-resistant diamond-like coating solution

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - cleanMOULD (CleanMOULD: Advanced low friction and fretting-resistant diamond-like coating solution)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2019-09-30

The cleanMOULD project aims at developing a new coating solution for plastic moulding tools, addressing fretting wear, abrasive wear and corrosion, as well as cavity wear and demoulding issues. cleanMOULD combines the best properties from current state-of-the-art coatings to provide the single best solution. cleanMOULD therefore improves the lifetime of moulding tools significantly, while reducing the downtime of the production, the number of scrapped tools and the need for maintenance. These properties will result in an increased productivity of the plastics moulding industry and increase the competitiveness. The plastics moulding industry employs approximately 1.5 million people in the EU, and plastics are today an important component in many products such as cars, appliances and electronics. The European plastics industry is under pressure from increasing competition, especially in SE Asia and China where labor costs are still relatively low, but where the quality of products is increasing. cleanMOULD is a key technological step in increasing the competitiveness of the European industry, which will result in the creation of new jobs in Europe. It is estimated that cleanMOULD could reduce the total production costs of the industry by up to 8%.
cleanMOULD will reduce the environmental impact of the industry by increasing the lifetime of moulding tools. The lifetime increase of cleanMOULD would result in raw-steel savings of approximately 200 kg per mould, which is equivalent to approximately 800 kg of CO2, only from the steel manufacturing. In contrast, the coating process results in a CO2 release of <10 kg. Furthermore, cleanMOULD will reduce the use of industrial lubricants in the industry, which are a heavy source of pollution.
The objective is to create a state-of-the-art, high performing coating for overall use in moulding tools, implement this into production, and create comprehensive characterization and performance evaluation of cleanMOULD in real production settings.
During the project CemeCon has successfully improved the coating process addressing the following parameters:
▪ Hardness
▪ Toughness
▪ Adhesion
▪ Smoothness
CemeCon has also developed a range of pre-coating procedures, which enable the thorough cleaning of any surface in preparation for coating. We have optimized our entire production pipeline, improving the throughput and optimizing procedures.
Furthermore, within the scope of the project, CemeCon has conducted a wide range of communication and dissemination activities, including fair and workshops in Denmark, Germany, China and Thailand. During these activities, CemeCon has experienced a large overall interest in the cleanMOULD project and has successfully attracted a broad pallet of end users from various industries. Together with a range of end users, CemeCon has tested the cleanMOULD coating under real production condition for moulding e.g. medical plastic parts and plastic parts for electric components.
During the project, key parameters of the coating have been developed beyond the current state of the art. The coating has been tested and assessed by end users, allowing CemeCon to create a comprehensive portfolio of case studies, business cases and financial data on the impact of cleanMOULD on plastics production. This has enabled CemeCon to approach new and potential customers with a superior product, which is extremely well described and documented. This comprehensive documentation will help cross significant market barriers and allow cleanMOULD to be widely adapted in the industry.
This will directly impact CemeCon by increasing turnover, and thus over time create jobs directly at CemeCon, by attracting new customers. Furthermore, the increased productivity cleanMOULD provides will increase the competitiveness of the plastics moulding industry, which in turn will allow creation of new jobs, and the preservation of existing jobs in Denmark, Germany and Europe in general.
Additionally, a large positive environmental impact is expected as a consequence of the project. CemeCon will reduce the demand for tool steel and machining, as the lifetime of the moulding tools is increased. Furthermore, a reduction in the need for lubricants in production is expected, and scrap rates of produced parts will go down. Therefore, both energy, raw material consumption and pollutant release will be reduced due to implementation of cleanMOULD, allowing plastics production to become more sustainable
Significant cost reduction for cleanMOULD coated tools
"Reduction in scrap rates and increase in mould life by ""letting the coating do the work"""
cleanMOULD will reduce the use of highly polluting processes
Optimization of coating surface to reduce plastics adhesion