RUSNANO Supervisory Council approved a nanostructured non-metallic coatings project

The Supervisory Council of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO) approved the corporation’s participation in the project «Establishing a multifunctional production of porous nanostructured non-metallic inorganic materials».

The project, initiated by the Tomsk State University (TSU), is structured in accordance with the federal law № 217 of August 2, 2009. This law grants the state-funded research and academic institutions the right to create spin-offs for commercializng the results of their research. The TSU’s intellectual property of microarc oxidation technology will be accounted in the chartered capital of the project company in accordance with the law.

The processing lines for applying inorganic non-metallic ceramic coatings on metal surfaces will be the main project’s product. The technology was developed by a group lead by professor Anatoly Mamaev. Engineering and development of equipment was done by Sibspark Ltd.

Microarc oxidation technology provides wear (increasing up to 2–8 times), corrosion and heat resistance, improves decorative properties for aluminum, magnesium, titanium and zirconium components. This paves new ways for using metals and significantly reduces production costs. As the technology is less explosion hazardous and produces no cyanide and nickel/chrome waste, it is environmentally safe.

The micro-arc oxidation (MAO) technique was developed in Russia in the late 1980's. Due to its high energy appetites, MAO coating was more expensive compared to traditional treatments, which prevented its adoption. The research team of the project managed to solve this problem with a brilliant invention. They used intricately designed power sources, which made the method cost-effective. The unique technology is currently at the peak of interest towards technological advancement in the industry worldwide. The successful implementation of the project will take Russia a step closer to leadership in the global nanotechnology market. The transition of Russian industrial enterprises to MAO technology will greatly raise the quality level of exported products and enable the creation of hi-tech materials that meet the growing needs of the world market.

Namely the energy efficiency of MAO can provide a large-scale replacement of traditional surface treatment technologies (such as electroplating, anodizing, and many others) for microarc oxidation, allowing for greater hardness together with low-cost production and environmental safety, – said Constantine Demetriou, managing director of RUSNANO.

This opens up broad marketing opportunities for the project. It is expected that processing lines will be implemented in construction, engineering, instrument-making (consumer electronics), automotive and aircraft industries in Russia and abroad. The total budget of the project will be equal 105 million rubles, of which RUSNANO will finance 50 million rubles. The project will be implemented in the city of Tomsk. Its full capacity output starting with 20 processing lines per year is planned to reach within three years.

EleSi company, a leading developer and manufacturer of industrial automation systems, will co-invest in the project and will be responsible for the implementation of the project.

The volume of metal processing market in 2008 amounted to $34.6 bln, of which about $4.5 bln accounted for accessories and consumables. From 2009 to 2015 the market is expected to grow 6% annually with the total volume exceeding $52 bln by 2015.