June 27, 2012 -- A collaboration between Teer Coatings Ltd, Johnson Matthey Plc and the University of Birmingham, which has the potential to provide a radical new capability for high-tech UK manufacturing, has been awarded over£ 480k funding from the Technology Strategy Board.
This award is to support the £1m ‘SuperREACT Project’, in particular the further development of a breakthrough technology which aims to transform a research apparatus into a true manufacturing tool in the field of cluster beam technology , opening up manufacturing opportunities in catalytic, fine chemical, electronic/ photonic, bio-medicine and anti-microbials. The aim is to move from microgram per-day to gram per-day capability, with the ultimate potential to achieve kilogram quantities of nanoclusters.
Clusterbeam condensation of nano-clusters is inherently "clean" and , using multiple elemental sources, flexible in terms of cluster composition and structure. The novel matrix assembly-clusterisation processing will enable continuous production of elemental, alloy and core-shell structures.
The best current cluster beam sources are limited to the production of ~1microgram of clusters per day. This innovative collaborative project is based on a patented idea from the University of Birmingham and also brings together high value manufacturing and market knowledge from Teer Coatings Limited, Miba Coating Group, and Johnson Matthey Plc . The project proposes a method that can ultimately increase that rate by 10 orders of magnitude, transforming the field. This new nano cluster technology will have application in catalysis and potentialliy impact on a number of nano-enabled technology fields including electronics/photonics, bio-medicine, and sensors.
Professor Richard Palmer, Head of The Nanoscale Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Birmingham said: “I am delighted by the Technology Strategy Board’s vote of confidence in our close and fruitful partnership with Teer and Johnson Matthey. This project has the potential to provide a radical new capability for high-tech UK manufacturing".
Dr Kevin Cooke, R&D Technology Centre Manager, Teer Coatings Limited, Miba Coating Group said: “The innovative technology at the heart of SuperREACT has the potential to transform our future equipment and service offerings to a worldwide customer base in diverse, high value-added sectors, all with exceptional opportunities for sustainable growth”.
This funding award is one of a number made by the Technology Strategy Board, which recently announced investment of £20m in grant funding for collaborative research and development projects and feasibility studies that will lead to the creation of new products and processes to be used across a variety of different application areas.
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The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries. The University plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.
Teer Coatings Limited, Miba Coating Group - www.teercoatings.co.uk/ www.miba.com
Miba is an international group of companies headquartered in Laakirchen, Austria, that produces technologically demanding, high-performance power train components. Miba’s engine bearings, sintered components, friction materials, power electronics components and coatings make vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft and power plants more efficient, more powerful and more environmentally friendly. Miba’s vision is of “no powertrain without Miba technology” and its goal is profitable growth in the existing divisions to achieve EUR 750 million in sales by the end of the 2015-2016 business year. Miba is reinforcing its competitive edge by investing approximately 6% of sales in research and development as well as in training and education, resulting in robust development centres with over 200 employees and 195 valid patents in the Miba Group. Teer Coatings Limited is part of the Miba Coating Group, which also comprises High Tech Coatings GmbH in Vorchdorf, Austria, and Miba Coatings Trading
(Suzhou) Limited, China. Teer Coatings Limited is a leader in physical vapour deposition (PVD) coatings technology, supplying customers worldwide with both PVD coating services and state of the art PVD coating systems from its Droitwich factory, with its current 58 strong workforce. Teer Coatings Limited continually improves its product and process offerings through R&D, which includes multiple national and international collaborative research projects.
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org