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Development of wear resistant coatings based on complex metallic alloys for functional applications (appliCMA)
Start date: Dec 1, 2008, End date: Nov 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project aims at the development of a new type of coatings based on Complex Metallic Alloys (CMA). This is a family of ternary and quaternary alloys which exhibit unexpected properties. The CMAs “Al61.5Cu25.3Fe12.2 B1” and “Al59.5Cu25.3Fe12.2 B3” consist only of metals, which show not metallic- but ceramic-like behaviour. Moreover, the bulk versions of these quasicrystals have proven outstanding properties as extremely low surface energy (wetting) and highest fretting wear resistance. The CMA AlMgB14 is known to be the hardest material after diamond. However, until now these outstanding properties could not be realised as coatings. First trials to develop coating processes were not successful, but showed reasonable concepts to solve the problems. The appliCMA project will focus on the development of PVD deposited coatings based on these three well-specified compositions. Following the mentioned outstanding properties of the three CMAs, the project is driven by applications for which they offer a remarkable step forward: tools for cutting, forming, extrusion dies, moulds for injection moulding, coated cooker’s oven for less sticking, fretting resistant coatings for aeroplanes, but also coatings of stamps for “Nano-Imprint-Technology (NIL)”. The project includes 9 researchers and 8 industries (including SME) in 8 member and associated state of the EU. They will deal with the fine tailoring of coatings and the processing of surface layers by PVD processes. Measurements of the micro/nano topography, electronic structure, phase transformations, microstructure and adhesion of the CMA coatings will be realized. The project will start with “lab samples” tested in lab facilities and will end with demonstrators tested in application related tests by end users. The project studies also fundamental mechanisms of the phase transitions in the manufacturing process of the targeted coatings, friction on these materials and simulation of friction in the forming applications.

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