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Keronite

Keronite International Ltd
Country: United Kingdom
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6 Projects, page 1 of 2
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 729496
    Overall Budget: 71,429 EURFunder Contribution: 50,000 EUR

    Weight-reduction efforts in the automotive industry have increased significantly in recent years, largely due to efforts to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. As a result, OEM manufacturers are moving to aluminium based solutions to reduce vehicle weight, improve fuel economy and overall sustainability of the vehicle. OEMs are increasingly out-sourcing their innovation activities and are actively seeking cost-effective lightweight braking solutions from Tier 1 suppliers. A substantial amount of vehicle weight resides in conventional cast-iron brake discs. Brakes form part of the “unsprung mass” (UM) of the vehicle, i.e. not supported by the suspension. The impact of UM weight on fuel consumption is compounded by the effects of rotational inertia and therefore has a much greater effect on fuel consumption per kg than non-moving parts. Adopting aluminium brake discs would reduce weight considerably and deliver fuel savings, or greater range in the case of electric vehicles. Furthermore, reducing rotational inertia through lighter discs, leads to better drive-handling, improved acceleration, and shorter braking distances. However, the use of aluminium in a cost-effective brake disc solution has failed due to excessive wear of the material. Attempts to provide a hardwearing aluminium surface by coated with a protective ceramic have been unsuccessful due to cracking caused by differential thermal expansion rates. Keronite International Ltd – a pioneer in lightweight aluminium braking components and patented Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) coatings - has developed RELIABLE, a wear-resistant lightweight aluminium brake disc for use in mass-market passenger vehicles. By overcoming the limitations of existing ceramic coatings, RELIABLE will deliver an innovative solution to an urgent market need. In turn, Keronite will generate combined revenue and gross profit of €50.7m and €22.5m respectively by 2023, resulting in a 5-fold return on investment.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I000216/1
    Funder Contribution: 145,410 GBP

    Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO), also known as Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO), Spark Anodising and Microplasma Oxidation, is a processing technique in which the surfaces of metals such as Al, Mg and Ti are converted into oxide coatings, ranging from tens to hundreds of microns in thickness. Coating growth occurs via large numbers of short-lived sparks (electrical discharges), caused by local dielectric breakdown. The resultant coatings can be highly resistant to wear and corrosion, and adhere exceptionally well to the substrate. Until recently, however, the nature of these plasma discharges, and the links between this and the resultant coating microstructure, have been very poorly understood. Recent work at Sheffield and Cambridge has produced new information about the temperature, density, resistivity, spatial distribution, frequency and duration of these discharges, and also about the influence that these characteristics have on the coating microstructure. The proposed project is aimed at utilising and expanding the techniques that have been developed in this work, employing the researchers primarily responsible for these advances, and also benefitting from the input of experienced plasma physicists based in Southampton. One of the objectives will be to create a new process model. This will give quantitative insights into the interplays between electrical circuitry, electrolyte composition, plasma discharge characteristics and coating microstructure. This should assist in the aim of improving the energy efficiency of the process. The enhanced understanding provided by this modelling will then be utilised to explore the potential for using PEO-like processing to implant small atoms, such as carbon and boron, into metals such as steels, giving increased surface hardness. Preliminary reports of this possibility are encouraging. If it does prove to be viable, then it would offer major energy-saving benefits in competition with conventional carburizing, which requires components to be held at high temperatures for extended periods. The work will be carried out in collaboration with two UK SMEs in the PEO field, and should thus lead to substantial and relatively short term benefits to UK industry.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I001174/1
    Funder Contribution: 481,414 GBP

    Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO), also known as Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO), Spark Anodising and Microplasma Oxidation, is a processing technique in which the surfaces of metals such as Al, Mg and Ti are converted into oxide coatings, ranging from tens to hundreds of microns in thickness. Coating growth occurs via large numbers of short-lived sparks (electrical discharges), caused by local dielectric breakdown. The resultant coatings can be highly resistant to wear and corrosion, and adhere exceptionally well to the substrate. Until recently, however, the nature of these plasma discharges, and the links between this and the resultant coating microstructure, have been very poorly understood. Recent work at Sheffield and Cambridge has produced new information about the temperature, density, resistivity, spatial distribution, frequency and duration of these discharges, and also about the influence that these characteristics have on the coating microstructure. The proposed project is aimed at utilising and expanding the techniques that have been developed in this work, employing the researchers primarily responsible for these advances, and also benefitting from the input of experienced plasma physicists based in Southampton. One of the objectives will be to create a new process model. This will give quantitative insights into the interplays between electrical circuitry, electrolyte composition, plasma discharge characteristics and coating microstructure. This should assist in the aim of improving the energy efficiency of the process. The enhanced understanding provided by this modelling will then be utilised to explore the potential for using PEO-like processing to implant small atoms, such as carbon and boron, into metals such as steels, giving increased surface hardness. Preliminary reports of this possibility are encouraging. If it does prove to be viable, then it would offer major energy-saving benefits in competition with conventional carburizing, which requires components to be held at high temperatures for extended periods. The work will be carried out in collaboration with two UK SMEs in the PEO field, and should thus lead to substantial and relatively short term benefits to UK industry.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H051317/1
    Funder Contribution: 601,156 GBP

    Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO), also known as Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO), Spark Anodising and Microplasma Oxidation, is a processing technique in which the surfaces of metals such as Al, Mg and Ti are converted into oxide coatings, ranging from tens to hundreds of microns in thickness. Coating growth occurs via large numbers of short-lived sparks (electrical discharges), caused by local dielectric breakdown. The resultant coatings can be highly resistant to wear and corrosion, and adhere exceptionally well to the substrate. Until recently, however, the nature of these plasma discharges, and the links between this and the resultant coating microstructure, have been very poorly understood. Recent work at Sheffield and Cambridge has produced new information about the temperature, density, resistivity, spatial distribution, frequency and duration of these discharges, and also about the influence that these characteristics have on the coating microstructure. The proposed project is aimed at utilising and expanding the techniques that have been developed in this work, employing the researchers primarily responsible for these advances, and also benefitting from the input of experienced plasma physicists based in Southampton. One of the objectives will be to create a new process model. This will give quantitative insights into the interplays between electrical circuitry, electrolyte composition, plasma discharge characteristics and coating microstructure. This should assist in the aim of improving the energy efficiency of the process. The enhanced understanding provided by this modelling will then be utilised to explore the potential for using PEO-like processing to implant small atoms, such as carbon and boron, into metals such as steels, giving increased surface hardness. Preliminary reports of this possibility are encouraging. If it does prove to be viable, then it would offer major energy-saving benefits in competition with conventional carburizing, which requires components to be held at high temperatures for extended periods. The work will be carried out in collaboration with two UK SMEs in the PEO field, and should thus lead to substantial and relatively short term benefits to UK industry.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 262040
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