Research Projects to Develop Techniques to Measure Coating Properties and Performance - News Item

National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has joined forces with TWI, Cranfield University and the University of Cambridge in two separate DTI-funded coating-related projects.

The industrial need for techniques to measure the integrity and consistency of a coating will be met via research carried out by NPL and TWI into improved methods for characterising the structure and properties of thick coatings. Anticipated beneficiaries of the new project will be users of thick coatings designed to provide resistance to damage from mechanical loading, specifically WC-Co, Cr3C2-NiCr and ceramic coatings, as well as electroplated coatings.

In a separate project, NPL hopes to fill the knowledge gap concerning the mechanical properties and performance of multi-layered coatings, by developing novel measurement methods and design tools for this class of materials. Working with the University of Cambridge and Cranfield University, characterisation and mechanical properties data will be available as a web-based integrated solution, allowing industry to design correctly first time and on time.

NPL is also actively involved in an ongoing EU project, CRATER, which aims to assist European industry to acquire validated and robust measurement methods for evaluating the wear and friction performance of coatings.

A novel approach explored as part of the project involves the use of PC scanners to measure craters. Wear is measured optically after the ball crater test (otherwise known as microabrasion testing) has been carried out, by measuring the size of the resulting scars. Work is still ongoing, but results so far have shown that very accurate measurement can be achieved using the method.


Posted September 2003


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