Coatings and Tribology Features

Surface engineering has never been more important to engineering. Our editors bring you a host of the latest thinking, views and opinions about coating technology and surface engineering. Find out how to optimise the materials you use to get the most out of them from longer life, to better performance.

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Extreme high-speed laser deposition welding coats components at over 250cm2 per minute

The extreme high-speed laser deposition welding? (EHLA) method, which is significantly faster than conventional laser deposition welding, was developed and patented by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) with the primary aim of executing coating processes very quickly with low layer thicknesses for rotationally symmetric components. Now, laser system manufacturer, TRUMPF is putting it into series production.  Read More


Silverstone hosts latest innovations

The co-located FAST and Engineering Materials Live exhibitions gave visitors a range of valuable insights.  Read More


Coatings boost medical device performance

By applying PVD coatings to surgical instruments, implants and other medical devices, OEMs can increase value and differentiate products with functional properties.  Read More


The value of Leading Edge Protection has never been greater now wind power is the largest renewable energy source in Europe

Although it may seem innocuous, the impact of debris and weather (in particular rain) on a wind turbine blade can cause significant damage. Based on a 2mm diameter droplet and an 80m/s tip speed, the pressure imparted by a raindrop is estimated at 120MPa – higher than the yield stress quoted for some blade materials.   Read More


Materials take centre stage

Another successful Engineering Materials Live event was held in May, with visitors able to access some hugely valuable information to aid them in their materials selection.  Read More


Lightweighting process developments are helping automotive engineers to meet incoming legislation

According to the European Commission, cars are responsible for around 12% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions. However, by 2021, phased in from 2020, the fleet average of all new passenger cars needs to produce no more than 95g of CO2 per km, which is a 40% reduction in comparison to the 2007 fleet average of 158.7g of CO2 per km. This demands a fuel consumption of around 4.1L per 100km (65mpg) for petrol and 3.6L per 100km for diesel (57mpg).  Read More


A low cost nano-coating to protect electronic devices from water

The smartphone market has grown on average 32% a year for the last decade, making it one of the fastest growing areas of consumer technology on the planet. The impact of the smartphone has fundamentally changed how we interact socially and has become the technology interface for everything from cars to thermostats to wearables.  Read More


The world’s blackest material makes its debut in space on board a micro satellite’s star tracker, but what are the benefits?

It’s the material that has spurred the Spinal Tap inspired headline the world over, ‘None more black’. Officially the world’s blackest material, VantaBlack from Brighton based Surrey Nano Systems is moving well beyond development following the materials unveiling some two years ago.   Read More


Clean skies: Nasa research for green future aircraft and plane design

Nasa targets some ambitious reductions in aircraft emissions and has piloted some seemingly bizarre to outright amazing concepts. In all cases, materials innovation remains key.  Read More


Graphene in car engine's oil benefits lubrication and reduces fuel consumption

The use of graphene balls in oil could yield significant engine efficiency improvements in coming years.   Read More


Metallising plastic: High temperature polymer gets metal finish

A high temperature plastic has been metallised by Albis Plastic to make a car reflector. Using vapour application, a thin metal layer is applied to the surface of the thermoplastic inside a vacuum.  Read More


Functional Chameleon

Could a colour changing nano coating provide changing properties and functionality to non-metal parts?  Read More


Single part foam sealant helps produce a better gasket

It might not have the glamour of carbon fibre, but effective seals and gaskets play a vital role in product reliability and longevity. Yet, like mechanical fasteners, specifying them is often done with little thought. Gaskets and seals are not typically associated with innovation, with the default often being whatever was used last time.  Read More


Graphene: What does the future hold outside of the lab?

The 2010 Nobel Prize catapulted Graphene onto the world stage, and it's since captured the attention of the materials world. No doubt there are extraordinary opportunities.  Read More


Coating technologies help drive down cost in the aerospace industry

Commercial aviation in the early decades was expensive and exclusive. Today, however, we have come to expect frequent and relatively low cost air travel. But this market explosion has an environmental cost that continues to proliferate around the world.  Read More


Superhydrophobic and oleophobic coating repels almost any liquid

Florida based UltraTech International has produced what it is calling Ultra-Ever Dry. The coating uses a proprietary nanotechnology that when applied to an object creates a near translucent white barrier on the surface. After a 30 minute cure in the open air, treated objects are able to repel water and oil based liquids with amazing efficiency.  Read More


Surface engineering: Combating friction

Surface engineering is often overlooked, but is vitally important. Gary Hughes, product engineering manager at bearing manufacturer, The Barden Corporation, outlines the main techniques the latest developments that can be used.  Read More


Protective polymers

Engineering Materials discovers a polymer material breakthrough that could act as an anti-bacterial coating for medical devices.  Read More


Adding function to materials

Steven Bowns of Technology Futures examines the potential impact of plastic and printed technologies for electrical and electronic systems and finds out about...   Read More


Ceramic dynamic

Could plasma spraying technology offer the ability to manufacture high-strength, lightweight, pure ceramic components? Justin Cunningham finds out.  Read More


Non-traditional bearings improve design and functionality in many industries

Bearing manufacturers are increasingly looking to develop and use alternative materials for a variety of different applications. It is being driven by both the demand from engineers for better solutions as well as the result of a concerted effort by industry to open up and engage with new market sectors.  Read More


Offshore and subsea applications make specific demands of bearings

Subsea conditions represent some of the harshest and most challenging in terms of bearing technology. Combatting them is something that has forced bearing manufacturers to develop highly innovative and robust solutions using a variety of materials and designs.  Read More


Materials drive bearing advances

Materials are at the heart of any bearing's success or failure. Paul Fanning looks at some recent developments.   Read More


Better bearings drive improved efficiency

Bearing optimisation could lead to a huge reduction in energy usage and emissions. Matt Bailey looks at some of the latest developments.  Read More


Grease monitoring lengthens bearing life

Bearing life is often dependent on the condition of its lubricating grease. Paul Fanning looks at a sensor that allows it to be monitored during operation.   Read More

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