Picosun's ALD Technology Used to Develop Corrosion Protection System

Published on September 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Picosun Oy, Finland-based global manufacturer of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment, introduces novel, cutting-edge corrosion protection technology developed in an international, European Union's 7th Framework Programme funded three-year collaborative project "CORRAL" (running from September 2008 to August 2011).

Picosun's corrosion protection technology is based on impermeable sealing of the material against ambient conditions by deposition of an extremely dense, pinhole- and defect-free thin film protective layer on its surface by the ALD method. ALD results in uniform and conformal deposition of compact and high-quality thin films on all surfaces of three-dimensional components, and, in the course of the project, it has already been proven to be superior to every other existing corrosion protection technique, either alone or combined with other methods, depending on the substrate material. Less than 0.001 % porosity of the CORRAL coatings has been achieved and according to NSS (neutral salt spray) tests, their ability to seal 100Cr6 steel substrates exceeded 600 h, whilst the automotive industries' specification is only 192 h.

ALD films also improve the existing coatings manufactured with other techniques, e.g. blocking the possible pinholes in them and offering structural strengthening and better chemical and thermal stability, thus increasing their lifetime by a factor of 3-10. CORRAL coatings save raw materials, the costs of corrosion protection and the costs of corrosion itself. Furthermore, ALD is the only method with which accurate tailoring of thickness and composition of the protective coatings can be achieved. Additionally, the appearance (i.e. color) and electrical properties of the coated material can be tuned through coating.

In industries every process step must be possible to be performed with high throughput speed for large volumes of products. Fast, repeatable and reliable high volume corrosion protection for e.g. aerospace, automotive and various machinery industries can be realized with Picosun's novel large ALD batch tools and their spacious, modifiable reaction chambers specifically designed and optimized for large components or batches of components with complex shapes. The choice of pre-treatment methods and coating material combinations depends on the substrate material and which kind of environmental conditions the components are exposed to.

"It goes without saying that there is a huge market and need for novel, advanced corrosion protection technologies in almost all fields of industrial manufacturing, from consumer products and household items to means of transportation, energy production and factory components. We at Picosun are proud to introduce a breakthrough for this market utilizing a combination of disruptive coating technologies and revolutionary tool designs, thus enabling longer component lifetimes and more ecological and sustainable industrial production", states Juhana Kostamo, Picosun's Managing Director.

Picosun Oy is a Finland-based global manufacturer of state-of-the-art ALD systems, representing continuity to almost four decades of dedicated, exclusive ALD reactor design and manufacturing. Picosun's global headquarters are located in Espoo, Finland and its US headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Picosun's SUNALE ALD tools are in daily use in various high profile industries across four continents. Picosun Oy is a part of Stephen Industries Inc. Oy.

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