IFAM, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research in Bremen, Germany, together with Acmos Chemie KG, have developed a permanent coating for molds used to make composite aircraft wings and dashboards — which normally have to be “greased” each time, just like a cake tin.
Engineers normally have to apply four to six layers of release agent before they can pour in the mixture of resin, plastic and fiber reinforcements. Solvents are used, which evaporate after application — leading to environmental issues.
“Our plasma polymer coating only has to be renewed after 30 to a hundred cycles — in some applications it even lasts up to a thousand cycles,” said Gregor Grassl, IFAM project manager.
In other news, that last drop of ketchup won't stick in the bottle, thanks to a joint project by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Freising, Germany, and IFAM's Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart.
The plasma coating is done by placing the plastics in a vacuum, then introducing gases into the chamber and igniting them by applying electrical voltage.
The organizations also worked with the Munich University of Technology, plus several industrial partners.
In another coating application, IFAM has developed a safety label to make shipping boxes for medicines forgery-proof.
Tel. 49-89-1205-1301, fax 49-89-1205-7515, www.ifam.fraunhofer.de.