Today we announced that our plated Nanovate metals are available as multilayered coatings as well as fully dense, homogeneous layers. So what does this mean? Typically you would expect to have a plated metal with homogeneous metallurgical and physical properties throughout the thickness of the deposit. In some cases, there are benefits to a "layered" deposit that varies material properties in distinct layers.
For instance, let's look at an application like helicopter rotor blade erosion or abrasion strips. What if you could make a hard layer that has a limited ductility, and a soft layer that has much better ductility. The hardness will help you in some wear mechanisms (like erosion), but will limit you in others (where there is an impact component). Making an erosion shield that is all one or the other mechanical properties will mean limiting the possible performance. The soft layer will stand up to the impact, but won't do you much good for the erosion wear component. If you could "reinforce" the hard layer with a soft layer, you can (in some cases) boost the performance of the system beyond what either could do on it's own. Playing with the properties of the layers and the thickness of the layers is key of course.
I was walking in Frankfurt recently and was reminded of other applications that are thousands of years old. For instance, have you ever seen the old "Damascus" steel knives (see photo to the right)? This is the perfect visual example of a layered structure where you get good cutting performance because of the properties of two distinct layers.
Back to the process! Since this is electroplating, it's possible to vary the layers with the same electro-chemistry. This means that there is a lot of design flexibility to change layer thickness and properties to acheive different effects. This need not be limited to wear mechanisms, other properties like electrical, corrosion etc. can also see a benefit depending on what is being changed between the layers.
Here is the press release:
(August 14, 2012) Toronto based Integran Technologies Inc. (Integran) today announced the commercial launch of its novel nanostructured multilayer coating technology which provides unprecedented design flexibility in applying unique structural and functional enhancements to a wide variety of finished and semi-finished components including metals, polymers and polymer composites.
Under development for several years with the support of the Canadian Government and the US Department of Defense, Integran’s proprietary graded, multi-layer and nanolaminate technology is covered by a number of specific US and foreign patent filings including the recently issued US 8,129,034 which applies to lightweight articles, precision molds, sporting goods and automotive parts, and covers specific fine-grained metallic coatings and nanolaminates containing Ni, Cu, Co, Fe, Mo, W, Zn, P, B and C.
Klaus Tomantschger, Integran’s Vice President, Intellectual Property and Licensing stated ”Integran is pleased by the US Patent Office’s determination that Integran’s unique grain-refinement technology also extends to its proprietary multi-layer laminate coating technology”.
Do you have an application where you think a multilayered plating could help with your application? Get in touch and let us see what we can do!