By Will Soutter
Integran Technologies, a global provider of advanced electroplated nano-technologies, has announced that it has been awarded patent protection for its vacuum-tight nanometal coating designed for composite and thermoplastic parts.
Close up of Pore-free Nanovate Metal on Carbon Composite part
The nanometals are also tough and pore free. The USPTO has awarded the patent number 8,247,050 for these nanometals.
Integran’s “Nanovate” metals are electroplated. These metals when coated on to thermoplastic parts increase the inherent stiffness and strength of the thermoplastic materials. This coating also prevents penetration of liquids and gases into the thermoplastic parts. This special property will enable the usage of composite materials for manufacturing products such as cylinders, hydraulic actuator rods and pressure vessels. The coating will impart durability to the product surface that is equivalent to that of hardened tool steel.
The company has been developing these nanovate metals for many years. Integran also has programs to develop lay-up molds that are durable and also demonstrate low thermal expansion. These lay-up molds are designed for composite manufacturing in aerospace applications.
The R&D Manager at Integran, Jon McCrea, commented that nanostructured metals, which possess high strength and are porosity-free, are suited for applications that require high toughness and wear resistance, and impermeability to liquids and gases. Chrome coatings are microcracked, while HVOF coatings that involve flame spraying of ceramics and metals are porous. Nanocrystalline metal structure must be considered as a fully dense structure, where the metal atoms are packed so tight that they do not allow penetration of any material. The company’s Nanovate coatings demonstrate such properties.