Coatings and Tribology News

All the latest news on surface engineering technology including advanced coatings, nano coatings, surface treatment processes, ceramic spraying, finishing, waterproofing, as well as specific insight and case studies on surface interaction and how to design for it.

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Autonomous humanoid robot shows a range of movements

An autonomous humanoid robot has been developed under a joint project between academia and industry. The open platform robot was developed by The University of Bonn’s Autonomous Intelligent Systems group with help from tribo-plastic specialist igus.  Read More


Spray-on hydrophobic material

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have developed a spray-on material with the ability to repel water. The researchers say their protective coating could eventually be used to waterproof mobile phones, prevent ice from forming on aeroplanes, keeping skyscraper windows clean or protect boat hulls from corroding.  Read More


Life-saving bacteria-phobic material coating

Medical innovator Camstent has announced that it has raised a record £850,000, nearly trebling the original £300,000 target, to bring its bacteria-phobic polymer coatings to market.  Read More


Self-healing textiles can also neutralise chemicals

A team of researchers from Penn State University have created a self-healing, thin film coating that could be applied to clothes to prevent soldiers from chemical or biological attacks in the field or factory workers from accidental releases of toxic materials.   Read More


Corrosion inhibitor coating wins Materials Science Venture Prize

A research team from Swansea University, led by Professor Geraint Williams, is developing a ‘smart release’ corrosion inhibitor, for use in coated steel products, and has won the Materials Science Venture Prize awarded by The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.  Read More


Graphene-based de-icing material upgraded

Rice University scientists have advanced their graphene-based de-icer to serve a dual purpose. The new material still melts ice from surfaces and wires when conditions get too cold, but ice won’t form at all down to temperatures of -14°C. The material can be spray-coated, making it suitable for large applications like aircraft, power lines, radar domes and ships.  Read More


Coating shows unexpected potential to improve reliability in wind power

A group of researchers from the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Akron discovered that a particular form of carbon coating not necessarily designed for wind turbines may indeed prove beneficial to the wind industry.  Read More


Secret of always-taut spider threads inspires new material

Scientists from the University of Oxford and the Pierre and Marie Curie University, in Paris have taken inspiration from spider webs to create a hybrid wire technology that could be used in applications such as microfabrication of complex structures, reversible micro-motors, or self-tensioned stretchable systems.  Read More


World's blackest material optimises sensitivity of satellite star trackers

The S-VIS version of Surrey NanoSystems’ Vantablack spray coating has been used to enhance the optical sensitivity of the optical instrumentation on board the Kent Ridge 1 low earth orbit (LEO) satellite. The Kent Ridge 1 was developed by Berlin Space Technologies (BST) in conjunction with the National University of Singapore and carries two hyper-spectral imaging systems and a high resolution video camera for Earth observation.  Read More


Call to standardise the testing of superhydrophobic materials

Researchers from Aalto University have called for consistent and standardised testing of superhydrophobic materials. They argue that agreeing on a unified testing method is needed to allow community-wide comparison between published results and that this would progress the development of superhydrophobic materials to commercial products.  Read More


Crumpled graphene becomes superhydrophobic

Research, by engineers from Brown University, shows that repeatedly crumpling sheets of graphene can make it significantly better at repelling water, a property that could be useful in making self-cleaning surfaces.  Read More


Slug inspired material could make aircraft de-icers a thing of the past

Scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), in Japan, report that they have developed a liquid-like substance that can make aircraft wings and other surfaces so slippery that ice cannot adhere. The slick substance is secreted from a film on the wing's surface as temperatures drop below freezing and retreats back into the film as temperatures rise.  Read More


CPI announces roll to roll slot die/screen printing and encapsulation capability

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has recently installed a specialist roll to roll line for the printing, coating and patterning of a range organic and inorganic solution based coatings. The pilot production line is available on an open access basis and will aid the commercialisation of printable electronics applications including photovoltaics, OTFT and printed batteries amongst others.  Read More


Doubling the wear resistance of fluoropolymer coatings

Carbodeon has developed an additive for fluoropolymer coatings, based on its uDiamond NanoDiamond technology. It has been developed to target solvent based coatings used across industries including automotive, aerospace and industrial, as well as food manufacturing and consumer product applications. The additive is claimed to double the wear resistance of standard fluoropolymer coatings without making them abrasive, and maintains or improves the existing low friction properties.  Read More


Paint it blackest

Surrey NanoSystems has released a spray version of the world’s blackest coating material, enabling a range of products to take advantage of Vantablack’s thermal and light absorption characteristics. The substance, Vantablack S-VIS, is said to be easily applied at large scale to virtually any surface.   Read More


CPI’s National Formulation Centre given the green light

Planning permission has been granted for the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to build a state of the art facility that will enable UK businesses to develop, prove and commercialise innovative products and processes in formulation science.   Read More


Acquandas and Goodfellow partner to provide miniaturised components

Goodfellow and Acquandas have formed a partnership to offer device manufacturers micro-patterned, 2D and 2.5D integrated multi-function miniaturised components and coatings.  Read More


Researching the superlubricity of graphene

According to researchers from the Dresden University of Technology, in future, graphene could be used as a thin coating, resulting in almost zero energy loss between mechanical parts. This is based on the high lubricity - or superlubricity - of graphene. Applying this property to mechanical and electromechanical devices would not only improve energy efficiency but also considerably extend the service life of the equipment, the researchers say.   Read More


Reducing aircraft wing drag

GKN Aerospace has joined forces with Durham University to develop and implement a method to accurately measure improvements in airframe drag performance. The test is being used to identify surface coatings that will reduce drag by 25% when compared to traditional aircraft surfaces in typical aircraft cruise conditions. These coatings must also demonstrate the ability to maintain this level of performance over five years, which is the lifetime of an aircraft’s external paint system.  Read More


Polymer aerogel to optimise oil and gas pipeline applications

Blueshift International Materials, the University of Strathclyde and the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) have collaborated to develop an aerogel product, composed of up to 99.98% air by volume, for applications in oil and gas pipelines.  Read More


Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter

Rice University scientists claim to have developed a way of coating common coaxial cables with a nanotube-based outer conductor that is claimed to make them 50% lighter.   Read More


Self cleaning windows also save energy and cut glare

Smart windows developed by University College London (UCL) with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could cut window cleaning costs in tall buildings while reducing heating bills and boosting worker productivity.   Read More


The glue sticking it to soldering and welding

MesoGlue is a startup company founded by Professor Hanchen Huang and Paul Elliott of Northeastern University and Professor Stephen Stagon from the University of North Florida. The company claims to have developed a glue made of metal that sets at room temperature and will bond nearly any flat surface with minimal pressure.   Read More


Axalta enhances Nap-Gard powder coating offerings

Axalta Coating Systems has announced the 7-2500 series of Nap-Gard FBE powder coatings. The 7-2500 series is said to bring industry recognised FBE powder coatings into one group and expands the benefits of its thermosetting epoxy powder for onshore and offshore oil and gas pipelines.  Read More


Super-slick material makes steel stronger

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a way to make steel stronger, safer and more durable. Their surface coating, made from rough nanoporous tungsten oxide, is claimed to be the most durable anti-fouling and anti-corrosive material to date, capable of repelling any kind of liquid even after sustaining intense structural abuse.  Read More

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