About SuperWEAR


E!9756 – SuperWEAR
New cost-effective SUspension ceramic coatings with SUPERior WEAR and insulating properties

SuperWEAR is a bilateral (Spain-Germany) European project approved at the last Eurostars call in 14th position out of 230 eligible projects. Financed by CDTI in Spain and BMBF in Germany, this project has a budget of 1.690.309€ and 30 months of duration.

The project is based on the development of oxide coatings with superior wear resistance and insulation properties using a cost-effective and environmentally friendly production process based on Suspension Thermal Spraying (STS). The project aims to do the first implementation of STS in SME job shops, demonstrating its advantages in selected components: cylinders for hydroelectric applications, off-shore piston rods, industrial valves, pump components and ball bearings with electrical insulation.

This project has a relevant Consortium which covers the whole product production chain, allowing a position of strength and collaboration within the proposed markets. There is a producer/seller of thermal spray hardware (GTV), there are the hardware users as job coaters (TMCOMAS and OBZ) and there are end-users for the coating solutions (Stern Hidraulica, TMCOMAS and OBZ). Additionally there is a strong knowledge of the suspension spray technique supplied by Fraunhofer.

For off-shore machinery piston rods, hydraulic cylinders rods or pumps, hard-chromium coatings are typically used. The ease and low cost of application combined with the quality of chrome coatings has led to chrome dominance in wear resistant surfaces. The main problem with chrome plating is the risk of Cr(VI) release during processing, which is a known health hazard.
The ceramic coatings obtained using Suspension Thermal Spray (STS) technique offer interesting advantages in comparison with traditional thermal sprayed coatings: highly refined structure, smoother surface, lower thickness, improved wear resistance and insulating properties. Therefore, STS can offer industry-suitable coatings with superior wear performance, which have the potential to replace coatings produced by chromium plating techniques.

The coating producers (TMCOMAS and OBZ) will introduce the innovative STS process by integrating in their spray booths the guns developed by GTV. The new coatings will be implemented in different products: cylinders for hydroelectric applications (SHI), pumps and electrically insulated bearings (OBZ) off-shore pistons and industrial valves (TMCOMAS). The new smoother, thinner, denser, high electrical resistive STS coatings will offer high performance (wear-corrosion resistance) competitive solutions.

The SuperWEAR project intends to manufacture innovative cost-effective ceramic coatings with improved wear/corrosion behavior. The high wear/corrosion performance derives from the refined nanostructure that can be reached by using a liquid feedstock instead of the conventional powder. In order to be able to spray these suspensions, liquid-feeder and special hardware have to be implemented in the traditional thermal spray equipment. The new suspension coatings will be based on ternary oxide ceramic powders (Al2O3-TiO2-Cr2O3) and will be tailored for selected market segments: Hydroelectric power industry, process industry, off-shore, with specific requirements in terms of thickness, hardness, insulation properties and wear and corrosion resistance. These will serve as an alternative to chromium plating coatings and to hardmetal- (WC-Co, WC-CoCr, Cr3C2-NiCr) or ceramic-based (Cr2O3) wear resistant coatings produced by conventional thermal spray techniques. The traditional coatings are either expensive to produce/finish (hardmetals) or are associated with hazardous elements (chromium plating, Cr2O3 coatings) since the formation of Cr(VI) during the plating process or during the injection process in thermal spray cannot be explicitly excluded. The generation of Cr(VI) is restricted by the Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) since it is a known human carcinogen, and industry-suitable alternatives to its use are highly desirable.

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Meet our TEAM

Jaume Nin
Jaume NinProject leader and responsible of R+D and Technical department at TMCOMAS
Chemist, with a Ph-D in materials science (2005), in the field of thermal spray technology.

He is working in TMCOMAS since 2006. In the past he was the director of the Centre for Thermal Spraying in the University of Barcelona with project management functions and also product manager for a Welding and Hardfacing services company.

He is also an European/international engineer welding (IWE) since 2009.

He has experienced in thermal spraying: more than 20 national and international publications, also presentations at various conferences.

Eloi Font
Eloi FontQuality Department technician TMCOMAS
Graduated in Mechanical Engineering by University of Girona.
He made his final degree project with the research center (GREP)
of the same university concerning additive manufacturing with stainless steel.
He is working in TMCOMAS since 2013 as a Quality Department technician
in verification tasks and management of the quality system.
Technical Office technician with a continuous formation
in mechanical fabrication and in 3D design.
Gemma Mendoza
Gemma MendozaResearcher at Tekniker
Gemma Mendoza, Technical Industrial Engineer started her activity in IK4-TEKNIKER in 1998 in the tribology Unit specializing in the application of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment ) in different fields (lubricants, light materials, coatings, green machining processes), with the aim of implementing environmentally friendly product or processes. Since then she has participate and lead several National and European projects on these areas, where improved tribological solutions for different applications have been developed. She is also the responsible of the bacteriological laboratory specialized in the performance of biodegradability and toxicity tests on lubricants, industrial fluids, paints and polymers; as well as the determination of antibacterial activity of different surfaces and paints.
Elena Fuentes
Elena FuentesResearcher at Tekniker
Elena holds a MSc in Chemistry with the specialization area in Polymers since 1992 by the University of the Basque Country. She is working for the Tribology Unit from IK4-Tekniker since 1993, dealing with friction & wear issues, particularly in areas related to bearings and other mechanical components (industrial valves, piston rings, engine sleeves,…), polymeric materials (thermoplastics, thermosets and elastomers), biomaterials, coatings and solid & liquid lubrication. Her expertise is focused on coatings, polymers, seals, mechanical components tribology, Biotribology and manufacturing process. She has participated in different National and European projects. She performs technical activities as well as managing functions in national and international projects. She has an extensive experience in R&D projects coordination. She is author of different scientific papers and chapters of academic books in the field of Tribology.
Gaizka Dominguez
Gaizka DominguezTechnical Office STERN
From 2007 to 2009, he studied a superior grade formative course of machining. He continued with another superior grade formative course of mechanical manufacturing design. In 2011 and during this course, he participated in the professional training Olympics where he won the gold medal for Euskadi, Spain, and after that, he participated in the world championship in representation of Spain in the discipline of mechanical design engineering. Since 2011, he’s part of STERN’s technical office, designing and developing his product.
Jon Lizarribar
Jon LizarribarCEO STERN
Industrial Management engineering at ‘Universidad de Navarra’ started his
activity in IK4-TEKNIKER for 1,5 years and continued in Stern Hidraulica.
During these 30 years has been involved in specials hydraulic cylinders
design for different kind of industries; and one of the most important
issues to deal has been the correct selection of piston rod coatings
depending on parameters as corrosion resistance, wear, cost, part’s sizes,
Maria Barbosa
Maria BarbosaResearcher at Fraunhofer IWS
Maria graduated in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the University of Porto in 2009. Her Master thesis concerned Cold Gas Spraying and was written in the Thermal Spray Center of the University of Barcelona under the supervision of Prof. Guilemany. In 2010 she has been awarded a Fellowship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) to develop her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Leyens at Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden. Since then she has been active in the field of thermal spraying with emphasis in functional coating solutions and Design of Experiments.
Laura Toma
Laura TomaGroup leader at Fraunhofer IWS
Laura received 2001 her Master Degree „Physics and Chemistry of Materials“ at the University of Pitesti (Romania) and 2004 her PhD Degree at the University of Technology Belfort-Montbéliard (UTBM) in Belfort (France). 2003-2005 she worked as Research Assistant at UTBM. 2006 she was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship at Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden (Germany). From September 2008 on, she worked as scientist at IWS and since 2014 is the team manager of the Thermal Spray Group. She is specialized in suspension spraying and has been a driving force in its industrial uptake.
Jan Luth
Jan LuthProject Manager for research and development OBZ
Dr. Jan Luth, born in 1983, graduated in physical chemistry at the University of Marburg in 2008. In subsequent years, he received his doctorate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) about the “process control and further development of the texturing process for multicrystalline solar cells.” Since 2013 he works for in the obz innovation gmbh as a project manager for research and development and deals in particular with the application and processing of publicly funded projects.
Thomas Schläfer
Thomas SchläferHead of RnD
Thomas did receive his diploma in mechanical engineering from RWTH Aachen University of Technology in 2005. Subsequently he was working as a research engineer in the field of thermal spraying at the Surface Engineering Institute (IOT, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kirsten Bobzin) of the same university, where he became senior engineer for the research fields Brazing Technology and Thermal Spraying. In 2011 Thomas became Head of RnD of GTV Verschleiss-Schutz GmbH, Luckenbach, Germany. He is focussed on RnD work concerning mainly applications development but also materials and systems development. In 2014 Thomas did receive his doctorate in mechanical engineering from RWTH Aachen University.