As if they were tailored suits, the Center for Research and Technological Development in Electrochemistry (CIDETEQ), in Tijuana (north of Mexico), works to serve various types of industry. For the aerospacial sector it develops coating procedures and analyzes corrosion rates of materials used in aircrafts; for the medical sector it analyzes the material of probes and water quality, and for the automotive, wheels chroming, among others.
In this region, technical support is required to solve quality control, manufacturing and water treatment, and customers come for services already available in CIDETEQ, mentions Mercedes Teresita Oropeza Guzman, deputy director of the Science and Technology Unit in Tijuana.
"We have better prices than in the US, plus we charge in Mexican pesos."
The doctor explains that in late 2011 they began planning the investment required to build service laboratories in the field of water analysis and measurements using nanotechnology. They had the task of initiating a project for equipment acquisition to solve the needs of the region, especially for the business sector.
"We use nanotechnology to help solve problems at the macroscopic level. At the CIDETEQ we provide nanoscale measurements using microscopy techniques such as scanning electron, atomic force and spectroscopy for characterization tests. We also have two teams of dynamic light scattering measurements for surface charge on nanoparticles ".
In the locality there are manufacturing companies for the aerospacial, medical and automotive industries which include electroplating among their processes. This is an electrochemical process used to coat surfaces. Once the coating is done, thickness can be measured or faults detected.
"With the two microscopes, scanning electron and atomic force, we can provide support in solving production problems for companies that make coatings of metal surfaces and to characterize their finished products."
According to the specialist at CIDETEQ, in the case of aerospace firms, two electroplating procedures are used, one is called anodizing and the other electro plating, these are performed based on electricity and ionic solutions which contain the metals that will be deposited on the surface.
Oropeza Guzman explains that at CIDETEQ they know and know how the procedures are done and are trained to perform them at any stage of the making of these coatings, even for a specific coating that is required to be developed to protect the materials of an aircraft.
In medicine, most of the devices developed at Tijuana are for injection, probes, pacemakers and artificial hearts. To do so, they employ elements like platinum or titanium, which are the most resistant to corrosion, "In the Laboratory of Nanotechnology at CIDETEQ, Tijuana, we support the characterizing part, meaning that the parts are in good condition and free from impurities."
Meanwhile, for the automotive industry, CIDETEQ’s team can verify that the chrome in the wheels is right and makes a macrometric focus test, at a big scale, where the material strength is measured in a corrosive environment.
To date, they have the experience of being involved with two companies in innovation projects, one was the Processing Industry of Corn Foodstuffs, IPAM, for which they studied the nejayote (byproduct of nixtamalization) and researched possible avenues of treatment before disposing it in municipal sewers. The other is SKYWORKS SOLUTIONS that manufactures Wi-Fi devices for cell phone technology, in this case CIDETEQ proposed to condition water from the cooling towers through an electrochemical device.
Other companies and agencies that work with this research center are: the State Commission of Public Services Tijuana, Organic Living, Biogeneradora BC, Care Fusion, Honeywell, Oncore of Mexico, Polar Ice, among others.
In this lab, concludes the specialist, we aim to work dynamically and, in turn, meet quality rules to keep it current. As for the equipment, she mentions that they are cutting edge and have a prevalence of at least 20 years of life. (Agencia ID)