Research Projects

Powdertech Surface Science has partnered with various companies and OEMs to undertake several private, EU & UK funded projects. Our expertise in surface science, pre-treatments and finishing techniques gives us the ability to test, research and advise all aspects of these key areas from conception to full production. 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement.

Powdertech Surface Science recognised the need for a dissimilar material joining technology and secured a £1.3 million grant under the EU Framework 7 funding for a 24 month project.
Powdertech, along with the project partners, have developed a novel and innovative production process that has allowed on demand contact curing at low temperature, eliminating the need for an intensive oven cure adhesive, benefiting the end-user with a lower manufacturing carbon footprint and potential fuel savings through selection of lighter materials. The project was completed in 2015 with the technology at TRL4.

Project partners include: Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Prodrive, Valspar, Da Lio, Resoltech, PRA, Fraunhofer and SMW Engineering.

SOLMAC stands for Structural Optimisation Using Light Metals and Affordable Composites. The aim of the project was to take several materials and processes proven at a system level and in non-primary structures and apply them to the production of the primary body structure of a niche automotive OEM. Specifically, novel combined pre-and post-assembly surface treatment of aluminium sheet and extruded beam sections were integrated with affordable thermoplastic panels. By creating hybrid material sub-assemblies that were then joined using cold-cure adhesive and mechanical fasteners, a lightweight solution was delivered that exhibited significant performance, cost and environmental benefits. The project provided an opportunity to refine the PowderBondPP process developed to enable the joining of polypropylene to aluminium, and was successfully used to make the five sub-assemblies that formed the structure of the tub.

Project OPTIMA builds on previous work by Powdertech Surface Science (Chrome-free pre-treatment technology) and the Non-Destructive Test (NDT) capability of TWI. The project will concentrate on the following developments: (i) Development of an in-line NDT method to characterise the surface metallurgy & improve consistency of the etched surface (ii) Development of an in-line NDT method for assessment, quantification and improvement of a pre-treatment coating in order to maximise performance of the overall pre-treatment process. This will enable the optimisation of process control & in future provide quality assurance for Powdertech’s cost effective chrome-free pre-treatment process for lightweight alloys that can achieve the level of performance required by Powdertech’s vehicle OEM customers.
We are a business-led consortium, focusing upon surface engineering & coating technologies for high value manufacturing to substantially increase bonding performance of lightweight components.

Project partners:

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