Integran News Blog

Vacuum-tight metal for sealing thermoplastic and composite parts

Posted on Wed, Sep 12, 2012

Today we announced that we received a patent that covers making thermoplastics polymers and thermoset composites vacuum tight by sealing with our fully dense nanocrystalline Nanovate metal plating process. We use this plating process for high strength, vacuum integral metals to impart a high strength, tool steel like, and highly elastic sealing surface.

Nanovate Metal on Carbon Composite closeup   labelled

An example use would be applying a low thermal expansion "nano-Invar" metallization (our Nanovar or Nanovate NV) onto lightweight carbon composite lay-up molds for the aerospace industry.  Here the vacuum integrity and durability would come from the tool steel like surface on the lay-up molds, drastically improving tool lifespan and making the tools more durable than the popular all-Invar tools. 

Press release is as follows:

Toronto based Integran Technologies Inc. (Integran) today announced that it had received patent protection (US 8,247,050) for its vacuum tight, pore free, and tough electroplated nanometals for thermoplastic and composite parts.  

Under development for several years, Integran’s electroplated “Nanovate™” metals allow customers with thermoplastic parts to not only benefit from the added strength and stiffness these metals bring, but also keep gases and liquids from penetrating the parts. 

Designers can now also look at using composites for creating vacuum tight products such as pressure vessels, and hydraulic actuator rods and cylinders with a surface that is as durable as a hardened tool steel.  This technology is also an essential part of Integran’s programs to make durable, low thermal expansion lay-up molds for aerospace composite manufacturing.

As Jon McCrea, Integran’s Research and Development Manager, elaborated, “A porosity-free high strength nanostructured metal, like our series of Nanovate coatings, is ideally suited for customers that require a multifunctional coating that can deliver both a gas/liquid impermeable barrier as well as a surface with high wear resistance and toughness.  This is not possible with electroplated metals like chrome coatings, which are microcracked, or HVOF coatings (flame sprayed metals/ceramics) which are intrinsically porous.   Think of the nanocrystalline metal structure as a tightly packed array of metal atoms so efficient that it leaves little space for anything to penetrate – this is what is known as a fully dense structure and is quite unique to Nanovate metals created by our process.”

Do you have an application where a sealing surface is important?  Why not get in touch to discuss!


Click here to contact us and discuss your application!


Figure 1 - fully dense Nanovate metal on a carbon composite part

Tags: Aerospace, Composite Lay-up Tooling