Surface coating

Friction reduction and wear protection

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Rainer Meier, BFF Wittmar

Functional coating on motor components.

Favorable friction behavior and high wear resistance are surface characteristics that play an ever-increasing role for improving performance and in the development of new products in many areas of mechanical engineering and vehicle construction. Simultaneously optimising additional properties of multifunctional film systems constitutes a special challenge which is overcome with plasma technology processes by the Centre for Tribological Coatings at Fraunhofer IST.

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Electrical functional films

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg

Curved ITO coating on glass following a tempering and bending process at 650 °C.

Electrical functional films are key components in numerous products. The Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST develops such films on a customer-oriented basis for new film materials and film material combinations with defined electrical characteristics as well as the corresponding coating processes.

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Optical functional films

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg

3D glasses with spectral channel separation.

The development of optical functional films and the corresponding coating processes constitutes an important focal point for the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST.  

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Sensorized thin films

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Manuela Lingnau

Sensor module for monitoring of the draw-in movement of sheet metal during deep-drawing processes.

Thin film sensors offer a variety of possibilities for the integration of sensor functions such as force, pressure, elongation and temperature measurement in existing components. Smart tools with extended functions enable highly accurate measurements of stresses in a wide variety of industrial application fields.

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Anti-adhesion coatings

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Rainer Meier, BFF Wittmar

Tablet press stamp coated with a DLC anti-adhesion layer SICON® for manufacturing of tablets without the use of release-agents.

Surfaces need to have good anti-adhesion properties in order to avoid deposits, contaminants, and adhesions or to meet demands for drop formation. In addition to low surface energy, the tools or components must also exhibit excellent wear resistance because of the heavy mechanical loads placed upon them. In the pharmaceutical industry, anti-adhesion coatings on press tools were applied successfully over many years in industrial use. 

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Antifouling coatings

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg

1 m long metal stripe with antifouling coating before role-forming.

Fouling – deposits generated by crystallization, corrosion or by chemical or biological reactions –regards for example surfaces of valves or heat exchangers in the chemical, pharmaceutical or food industry. So called antifouling coatings have the potential for considerable reduction or even for complete avoidance of fouling.

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Photocatalysis

© Photo Fraunhofer IST, Rainer Meier, BFF Wittmar

Simulation of a photocatalytically active surface.

Photocatalytically active coatings are used to give self-cleaning properties to surfaces, clean air and water, or kill bacteria, algae and fungi. Organic contaminants are degraded to H2O and CO2 by irradiation with light of a suitable wavelength, usually UV light. In principle, the photocatalysis dispenses with additional chemical substances and is therefore one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies.

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