Coating and Electron Beam Processing of Parts

We are able to coat three-dimensional objects and substrates made of metal, ceramic, glass, and plastic to improve their function and service life by suitably modifying the surface properties. We can increase the corrosion, scratch, and wear resistance of tools and component parts through use of vacuum coating technologies such as sputtering, plasma-activated high-rate evaporation, and high-rate PECVD. Decorative and sophisticated optical properties as well as biofunctionality and biocompatibility can also be achieved by applying suitable coatings and multilayer coating systems.

We can directly test the effect of the coatings and thus demonstrate to our customers comprehensive solutions for improving their components using physical characterization methods from the field of materials science as well as carry out biocompatibility tests in our biomedical laboratory. Our services range from feasibility studies to short-run coating samples and transfer of technology to regular production based on high-performance equipment developed at Fraunhofer FEP.

Our Services

Our services include all necessary steps for a development project – from the concept phase to technology transfer:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Sample coatings
  • Conceptualization of an R&D project complete with work packages, milestones, and costing
  • Development of coating systems and coating technologies for coating of components and tools
  • Development and supply of technology components (substrate heating, plasma sources, magnetron sputter sources, and process control equipment)
  • Support for incorporation and integration of our technology into the customer's production processes
  • Advice on process selection, plant design, productivity, and cost estimates
  • Licensing

This development work is supplemented and supported by:

  • Acquisition and coordination of projects state-, federal-, and European Union-funded projects
  • Studies of the current state of technology and engineering, such as literature and patent searches
  • Economic feasibility studies

Applications

 

Transport

Today’s cars reflect our individual preferences. A variety of functions can be implemented through thin-films technologies in optics, lighting and interior as well as through novel systems for connected mobility.

 

Mechanical
engineering

Optimized surfaces are the basis for a lot of innovation in the machine building sector. Layers that make products and components resistant to corrosion, wear, and scratching have enormous commercial importance.

 

Medical
Applications

The growth in the medical technology sector is being accompanied by a great variety of innovations. The development of new products and medical equipment is often based on sophisticated starting materials.

Coated components from additive manufacturing (Fraunhofer IFAM)

Batch system UNIVERSA

  • Wear-protection layers for tools
  • Reduction of biocorrosion and abrasion in implants
  • Corrosion-protection coatings on small parts (in bulk)
  • Coatings for high-strength joining components in lightweight and composite automotive construction, featuring a high-performance corrosion-protection layer
  • Anatase TiO2 layers for enhancing the biocompatibility of medical implants and instruments
  • Photocatalytic titanium-dioxide coatings (TiO2) for medical devices and products
  • Coatings for shielding electromagnetic fields and electrically insulating layers for improving operation (such as in pacemakers)
  • Optical multilayer systems applied to 3D bodies
  • Sterilization or disinfection using gas plasmas, UVC radiation and low-energy electrons
  • Sterilization of fragile products including plastics, thermolabile materials, organic materials and tissue with/without multilayer coatings, ceramics, textiles, hydrogels, and electronic components - even after packaging
  • Grafting and crosslinking of surface (molecules) of polymers and biological materials to inhibit in vivo degeneration
  • Producing specific wetting behaviour for biological media

Technologies

We use the following technologies to develop and apply precisely suited coatings for our customers’ applications:Reactive pulse magnetron sputtering

  • Plasma-activated high-rate evaporative deposition (thermal evaporation), both reactive and non-reactive
  • High-rate PECVD
  • Plasma pre-treatment using a hollow-cathode plasma source for etching and activation
  • Thermal treatment in vacuum or reactive atmospheres
  • Electron-beam micromachining and surface modification

In addition, we offer physical and chemical characterization as well as biological efficacy testing.

Click on the following links to find out more about our range of technologies.

 

Electron beam

Generation, shaping and control of the electron beam, its effect on the material and the realization of the necessary process technology, are the key aspects of our work in this core competency.

 

Sputtering

We utilize and develop sputtering technologies in order to efficiently apply layers and multilayer systems in vacuo to large areas.

 

Plasma-activated high-rate deposition

Effective vacuum coating requires high coating rates over large areas. However, the way towards higher coating rates, especially for high-rate deposition, is not straightforward, since the fast growing layers feature columnar layer structures.

 

High-rate PECVD

Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using microwave or high frequency (HF) plasma is an established process for depositing silicon-based polymer layers for various applications. Vapor-phase monomers enter a reaction chamber and are ionized, excited, or decomposed by a plasma.

 

Technology transfer

We offer:

  • technology transfer and introduction of the process into production
  • technology transfer including fitting plants with key components
    (also retro-fit of existing plants)
  • scale up of processes and technologies for industrial plants

Several pilot and laboratory facilities are available at Fraunhofer FEP for our development work. Our high-throughput pilot plants enable us to investigate questions from technology upscaling through to pilot production during development projects. We can draw on the following systems for your optimum coating solution depending on the substrate, coating technology, and the coating materials:

Fraunhofer FEP has numerous additional full-scale production-emulation facilities at its disposal for coating larger areas. You can find more information here:

Project Examples

Project name Description
AlTiNTec Investigation of technologies for the deposition of wear reducing aluminum-rich TiAlN-layers
DANAE Research on thin film and alignment technologies for nanoscale acoustic electronics
Sub-topic: Coating technologies for piezoelectric and acoustically effective layers in acoustic electronics
ELOBEV Research on electrolytic coating systems for joining components made of high-strength materials
Sub-topic: Anti-corrosion coatings in a drum system using a combination process
FoulingResist Efficiency improvement by reduction of fouling in heat pipes
Sub-topic: Internal coatings of pipes with fouling-resistant thin film coatings
PVD-Direkt High-energy and high-rate PVD process for efficient direct metallization of plastic components

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Collaboration with our clients typically begins with a telephone call or email from the client in order to briefly describe the R&D requirement or technological problem, or to set up a meeting.

From that point onward, we work very closely with the client to develop a plan for the work, which leads to a proposal and bid, and finally to an R&D project. Confidentiality can be ensured from the beginning through a confidentiality agreement.

Please feel free to contact us. If we should not be available when you phone, then please send us a brief email and we will happily phone you back.

Contact persons

Benjamin Graffel

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Benjamin Graffel

Head of Department

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstraße 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586 212

Fax +49 351 258655 212

Coating of Components