Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Worcestershire, United Kingdom

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Patent
Teer Coatings Ltd | Date: 2016-09-28

Apparatus and a method for creation and maintenance of a closed field system in which magnetrons and/or magnet assemblies are provided in a form to create a magnetic field around an area in which a substrate to be coated is located. The method also relates to the steps of cleaning the substrates and applying an adhesive layer prior to the material which is to form the coating.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.2.7 | Award Amount: 5.74M | Year: 2012

Water electrolysis based on PEM technology has demonstrated its applicability to produce hydrogen and oxygen in a clean and safe way. Systems have been demonstrated in a wide range of niche applications with capacities from << 1 Nl/hrs to 30 Nm^3/hrs. PEM electrolysers offer efficiency, safety and compactness benefits over alkaline electrolysers. However, these benefits have not been fully realised in distributed hydrogen generation principally due to high capital costs. Principal reasons for high capital costs of present state of the art PEM electrolyser are: - use of expensive materials (noble metals, perfluorinated ion-exchange membranes), - high material usage (e.g. catalyst loading, thickness of bipolar plates), - limited durability of the main components (membrane, electrode, current collectors and bipolar plates), - complex stack design This project will take advantage of the progress beyond the state of the art achieved by the partners involved in the NEXPEL project. In the initial phase of this project, durability studies of electrolyser stacks developed in NEXPEL will be performed. The stacks will be run at different operating conditions (low pressure, constant load, fluctuating load coupled with RES). Invaluable data and post mortem analyses can be extracted from this demonstration part of NEXPEL and fed into the further development of novel materials for and design of cost competitive, high efficiency, small scale PEM electrolysers for home/community use. The functionality of the novel materials will be proved on the laboratory scale with a small electrolysis stack in the 1-kWel range. By minimising electrochemical losses in the stack, a system design will be developed which enables an overall efficiency > 70 % (LHV). The improved materials will also be made available to current developers of PEM electrolysers to allow them to quantify the benefits, and to provide early feedback that will drive ongoing performance improvements


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.10M | Year: 2017

We are proposing a 4-year program of knowledge transfer and networking between Aston University, UK (Aston), Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland (CIT), Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Spain (ICN2), University of Birmingham, UK (UoB), Zhejiang University of Technology, China (ZJUT), Nanotechplamsa Ltd, Bulgaria (NPL), B&T composites, Greece (B&T), National Institute for Research and Development in Electrical Engineering, Romania (ICPESA), and Teer Coatings Ltd, UK (TCL). The objective of the proposed joint exchange programme is to establish long-term stable research cooperation between the partners with complimentary expertise and knowledge. The project objectives and challenges present a balanced mix between industrial application focused knowledge transfer and development and more far-looking studies for potentially ground-breaking applications of using diamond-based nanomaterials and nanostructures for advanced electronic and photonic applications (D-SPA), including fabrication of diamond nanostructures using 3D printing technology, development of diamond-plasmon hybrid photonic devices and development of biophotonic imaging technology for sensing applications. No one group in Europe can accomplish each work package alone. We have to collaborate with each other in order to gain their skills and expertise in these specific areas.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 12.34M | Year: 2013

BIO-GO-For-Production is a Large Scale Collaborative Research Project that aims to achieve a step change in the application of nanocatalysis to sustainable energy production through an integrated, coherent and holistic approach utilizing novel heterogeneous nanoparticulate catalysts in fuel syntheses. BIO-GO researches and develops advanced nanocatalysts, which are allied with advanced reactor concepts to realise modular, highly efficient, integrated processes for the production of fuels from renewable bio-oils and biogas. Principal objectives are to develop new designs, preparation routes and methods of coating nanocatalysts on innovative micro-structured reactor designs, enabling compact, integrated catalytic reactor systems that exploit fully the special properties of nanocatalysts to improve process efficiency through intensification. An important aim is to reduce the dependence on precious metals and rare earths. Catalyst development is underpinned by modelling, kinetic and in-situ studies, and is validated by extended laboratory runs of biogas and bio-oil reforming, methanol synthesis and gasoline production to benchmark performance against current commercial catalysts. The 4-year project culminates in two verification steps: (a) a 6 month continuous pilot scale catalyst production run to demonstrate scaled up manufacturing potential for fast industrialisation (b) the integration at miniplant scale of the complete integrated process to gasoline production starting from bio-oil and bio-gas feedstocks. A cost evaluation will be carried out on the catalyst production while LCA will be undertaken to analyse environmental impacts across the whole chain. BIO-GO brings together a world class multi-disciplinary team from 15 organisations to carry out the ambitious project, the results of which will have substantial strategic, economic and environmental impacts on the EU petrochemicals industry and on the increasing use of renewable feedstock for energy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.1.7 | Award Amount: 5.22M | Year: 2012

One key component in the PEMFC which contributes significantly to cost, weight, volume of the stacks and still needs to be improved to ensure cell lifetime is the BiPolar Plate (BPP). Metal based bipolar plates are very attractive, but a protective coating is needed to avoid corrosion and keep the interfacial contact resistance low. The STAMPEM-consortium has been established acknowledging that further development of BPPs require Europes best available resources, with respect to both human competence and infrastructure (laboratories). The objective in STAMPEM is to develop a new generation coating for low cost metallic bipolar plates for PEMFCs, with robust and durable properties for assembly and manufacturing, showing high performance after more than 10000 hours of operation. The concept of STAMPEM is to combine world leading industrial actors capable of volume manufacturing with research institutions with the required generic competence capable of providing breakthrough solutions with respect to a new generation coating for low cost metallic BPPs. By involving an end user of the BPPs developed in the STAMPEM project, the results will be thoroughly verified under realistic operating conditions in a PEMFC stack. The initial phase of the project will be used to establish a testing protocol for BPP materials. In order to screen materials basic corrosion experiments will be performed with contact resistance measurements before and after the testing. Promising materials will further be tested in fuel cells and even further in stacks. The BPP materials go through a real mass production cycle, and also the real production cost will be analyzed. Also the possible detrimental contamination of the membrane will carefully be investigated. The most promising materials will in the end be fully integrated into a system. and that also can be produced in series to provide the building blocks in other fuel cell vehicles.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2012.3.4 | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2013

The economic viability and market place entry of SOFC power systems is directly dependent on their longevity and production costs. Adequate operational life spans can only be achieved, if the performance degradation of the SOFC stacks and Balance of Plant components over time can be considerably reduced. At the same time, manufacturing costs have to be lowered dramatically for the specifically necessary components securing the long component service life. As of now, chromium deactivation of the cathode is considered one of the major contributions to the degradation of SOFC stacks. Since chromium steels, on the other hand, are an essential material in reducing stack costs, methods have to be found to make best use of their advantages whilst avoiding chromium transport to the cathode. Balance of Plant components upstream of the cathode also contribute to the chromium immission, a fact that is often overseen and requires protective coatings also for any components situated in the air flow pathway to the cathode. Finally, the build-up of oxide scales will influence the electrical resistance and contact resistance thus requiring coatings for the stabilisation of the contacts on both cathode and anode side of the SOFC cell. Within the project Real-SOFC first steps have been made towards developing suitable combinations of steels and coatings. It has become apparent that any steel will require a coating in order to sufficiently reduce chromium evaporation and oxide layer build-up, and also sustain a low surface resistivity. More recently, a variety of new coating techniques have been reported that require further evaluation under SOFC relevant operating conditions. The project proposed here aims to further elaborate on the production of coated steel components showing markedly improved properties with regard to chromium release, electrical resistivity and scale growth. The focus of ScoReD 2:0 will be on choosing optimised combinations of protective layer materials with different steel qualities (including low-cost options) and analysing the influence, practicality and cost of different methods of coating. Also in understanding which factors influence the efficacy of such coatings.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2014

The main S&T objective of CATSENSE is to design novel high performance catalysts and biosensors by a new interactive approach combining i. the production of mono and bi-metallic gas-phase clusters of controlled homogeneity, ii. the extensive characterisation of their morphology, structure (ex and in situ) and optical properties, iii. theoretical modelling and screening, and iv. catalytic and biosensing laboratory tests. Prototypes of the most promising catalyst and biosensor will be tested in realistic operative conditions through intense collaboration with our industrial partners. Biosensing and Catalysis applications are of paramount importance in Europe nowadays and are directly related to core issues of the Renewed Lisbon strategy, i.e, Health and Environment, respectively. Combining these technologies in a new supra-discipline of cluster-based nanotechnology will allow CATSENSE to contribute to the challenges that nanotechnology is now facing in Europe: a poor commercialisation track record of new discoveries and a shortage of adequately trained professionals. The training program will deliver nanotechnology experts corresponding to the need of the job market through a multi-level interdisciplinary and intersectorial network. The balanced program combines local expert training by academia and industrial partners, a network-wide secondment scheme, and a dense seminar, workshop and school schedule.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 940.11K | Year: 2012

Free radicals, molecules with one or more unpaired electrons, are highly chemically reactive. This high reactivity means that free radicals exert a major influence on the chemistry of any environment in which they are formed, even though they are often not the most abundant species. For example, it is free radical chemistry that controls important atmospheric phenomena such as the ozone hole and the formation of photochemical smog. The interactions of free radicals with surfaces are thought to be vitally important in controlling the chemistry of formation of thin-films from electrical discharges, so called plasma-assisted deposition. Such thin-films have enormous technological importance in fields such as integrated circuits and solar cells. However, the details of the interactions of the radicals with the surfaces in these film formation processes are not well understood. The major hurdle to investigating this surface chemistry of free radicals is that, currently, there is no general technique available to dose a surface with only the free radical of interest, for example CH. Current radical sources generate the radicals from a precursor gas (e.g. CH from C2H2) and the precursor gas molecules always outnumber the radicals. Thus if a surface was dosed from a conventional radical source, the precursor molecules would be the dominant species on the surface, making it almost impossible to study the interactions of the radical with the surface using standard surface science techniques. In this application, we propose the development of a new source of free radicals which will generate clean beams of the radical species, uncontaminated by the precursor molecule. The source will work by generating negative ions (e.g. CH-), which can be mass selected to form a clean beam. The radicals are then generated from the negative ions by using a laser beam to knock off the electron. This photo-detachment of negative ions will yield a clean beam of the radical species of interest. Calculations given in the proposal show that a practical flux of free radicals can be generated by this methodology. The clean beams of free radicals can then be used to dose the surface with the radical species, and the surface can be studied using the standard techniques of surface science to reveal the details of the radicals sticking and surface chemistry. We propose to develop the source and then use it to study the radical-surface interactions involved in three technologically important film deposition processes. The chemistry revealed by our investigations will dramatically improve our understanding of what is going on in these industrially relevant surface reactions and allow us to optimize and refine these deposition processes in the light of the chemistry that is occurring.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 340.19K | Year: 2014

MOMS4HVM extends the application envelope of modified steady state electromagnetic modelling for the efficient & accurate prediction of industrial magnetron deposition systems. The project will determine & mitigate the limitations of the approach, when compared to more traditional, resource-heavy hybrid particle & hydro-dynamic models, where complex fluid flow equations have to be solved. This industrially led projects outcomes will be generically extendable to a range of current industrial deposition equipment, itself applicable in multiple HVM markets. Such equipment addresses the needs of lead customers of the UKs advanced surface engineering sector. MOMS4HVM will reduce development times, eliminating the need for extensive proto-typing activities, at multiple levels, including: prediction of coating distribution & functionality on complex industrial parts; efficient transfer of the magnetron coating process for a given range of parts across different coating equipment; design of next generation coating equipment; & optimised in-batch fixtures & composition for the coating of multiple components. It will create new market demand for advanced modelling software.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 160.92K | Year: 2016

CAEPAC will establish the feasibility of coated electrode plates of lightweight alloy substrates for PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells. PEM fuel cells display the highest power densities of any of the fuel cell types, which makes them particularly attractive for transportation & portable applications where minimum size and weight are required. Air cooled fuel cells significantly reduce balance-of-plant complexity, hence weight (and cost), making Intelligent Energy’s AC (Air Cooled) technology particularly suitable for lower power automotive applications such as primary and range extender drives for lightweight vehicles. Conventional PEM fuel cells utilise electrode plates which are made from graphite (bulky and expensive to machine) or, particularly for transport, stainless steel. For automotive applications, 100s of cells are needed within a multi-kW stack, hence a relatively small weight saving per plate will be significant for the whole system, provided such components can be manufactured cheaply and with similar performance and longevity. CAEPAC will develop novel, coated lighweight alloy plates, and investigate their performance in cells & stacks, with detailed post-mortem analysis.

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