Consortium targets smarter coatings

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

A smarter approach to applying advanced thin-film coatings to high value engineering products is being developed by Teer Coatings, Cobham Technical Services and The Open University. The collaborative project, which is co-funded by a £577,000 award from Innovate UK will develop tools for simulating sputter coatings, to deliver a right-first-time process.

The development project brings together experts on non-equilibrium plasma physics, computer-aided engineering software for modelling and simulating electromagnetic and related physics effects, and the design and use of the physical vapour deposition (PVD) magnetron sputtering tools to apply coatings that are important in a wide range of high value manufacturing applications.

The key aim is to develop a practical software-guided approach to thin-film coating that is both accurate and fast.

The tool will provide an intelligent and automated analysis of a proposed deposition process to help users optimise the performance of a coating tool and the characteristics of a surface coating applied to workpieces. Such an approach will potentially eliminate the need for prototyping and trials, and will be relevant to intelligent and optimised surface coatings, enabling performance advances in a wide range of engineering sectors.

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