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Fraunhofer Speeds Up Thin Film Development And Industrialization With Deposition System From Impact Coatings

Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST has developed a strain gauge sensor directly coated on the work piece surface with high strain sensitivity and temperature compensation. The development showed that by using IC300 from Impact Coatings, more than 10 times higher output was achieved, compared to a traditional box coater.

Impact Coatings has delivered an industrial a high-rate sputtering system, InlineCoater 300, to Fraunhofer. Fraunhofer is using the high throughput to increase the speed of development.

The IC300 offers the thin film scientists the possibility to test more than 100 different parameter setups in a day, which gives a substantial reduction of the development time. Using the same system for development as for future industrial production also shortens the time to market.

Finally, Fraunhofer has shown that the InlineCoater-system gives more than 10 times higher production output compared to a traditional boxcoater PVD-system. The higher productivity reduces the manufacturing cost and increases profitability.

The strain gauge sensor, based on a metal alloyed diamond-like carbon coating, is the first product Fraunhofer has developed using the IC300 deposition system.

Fraunhofer is now looking for industrial companies interested in producing this product. Impact Coatings is involved as a partner to Fraunhofer and deliveres the generic deposition system while Fraunhofer delivers the deposition process and know-how.

“The cooperation and the deposition systems from Impact Coatings increases our development speed and also enables us to do rapid R&D, industrialization and production using the same deposition system. Once we have developed a coating, the same system and process can easily be transferred to industry” says Dr Ralf Bandorf, Group Manager Fraunhofer IST.

“Fraunhofer is a high knowledge institute and we are happy to work together with them to develop new coatings and application areas. Impact Coatings acts as a partner to deliver the deposition system and Fraunhofer develops the coating; this piezoresistive coating is a good example of this cooperation” says Dr Henrik Ljungcrantz, CEO of Impact Coatings.

Impact Coatings AB develops and commercializes innovative technology for PVD surface treatment. PVD is a method to vacuum coat thin films of metals and ceramics.

The company’s main product is the deposition material Silver MaxPhase™, which can replace gold on electrical contacts. For efficient industrial coating of the material, the company has developed the deposition systems ReelCoater™, InlineCoater™ and PlastiCoater™. These systems are also used for deposition of other materials, e.g. in decorative and optical applications.

The company was founded in 1997. Following a period of development and establishing products and services, an international exploration has now stared. Target customers are primarily component manufacturers within the electronics and automotive industries.

Impact Coatings’ share is traded at Nasdaq OMX Stockholm First North since 2004. Remium Nordic AB is the company’s Certified Adviser.

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