IPI is working with our Open Innovation partner in UK whose client is an established global manufacturer of engineered mechanical fixtures and hardware components for the building and construction industry is actively seeking innovative coating and surface finishing technologies for current and new substrates to significantly improve on the durability, performance, aesthetics and sustainability of their current product and manufacturing processes.
The current manufacturing process involves die casting of the components which are mainly zinc, although other substrates and manufacturing processes are also employed. These components are then electroplated with copper which makes the surface more uniform, assures good electrical conductivity and enhances adhesion of other coatings. Subsequent nickel plating provides a superior corrosion resistant barrier, and finally a range of decorative finishes can be applied thereafter. However, this combination of conventional processes is complex, lengthy, costly and often results in the generation of hazardous and environmentally detrimental waste products.
The client is therefore seeking novel technologies that would enable them to improve the durability (e.g. corrosion resistance) and performance of the components and to minimise environmental impact whilst enabling them to employ a variety of decorative finishes on existing metal substrates (e.g. zinc, brass) as well as lighter/cheaper materials (e.g. aluminium, engineered plastics).
Solutions will be required to:
Solutions of interest may include but are not limited to:
The client is keen to review technologies and methodologies where proof of concept has been exhibited and which the aforementioned durability performance testing can be carried out to demonstrate improved benefits over existing process. They are willing to review opportunities from any sector (e.g. automotive) and geographical location, as well as to explore all reasonable commercial agreements.