The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) has determined an "enormous wave of innovations in coating technology". Those areas where these apply include the substitution of hexavalent chromium, the use of water-based varnish with a high-quality anticorrosive coating, powder coating for new applications, the processing of nanomaterials and highly efficient electrostatic varnishing processes. IPA sees the pressure placed on the industry to economize and new environmental regulations as the catalyst for these innovations.
For ecological reasons an alternative to zinc phosphate coating is also needed. For decades this process has protected metals from corrosion. However, pre-treatment is carried out in a tri-cation bath which contains zinc, manganese and nickel ions. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EU now classify nickel salts as carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic. The treatment of aluminum for lightweight construction is also problematic. Because free aluminum ions prevent the formation of phosphate coating, they need to be cancelled out by adding fluoride. This process involves sludge and wastewater that pollutes the environment and adds a great deal of expense.
Various companies who have developed alternative processes to pre-treat metal are showcasing these at SurfaceTechnology 2015. This leading trade fair at HANNOVER MESSE covers all areas of surface engineering. Topics such as electroplating, industrial paint coating, plasma coating and micromaterials machining as well as energy, material and resource efficiency in the coating process are represented as well.
Trends in 2015 include armoring with non-stick coatings. In order to avoid deposits, impurities and adhesion, surfaces with excellent non-stick characteristics are in demand. The Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST) sees modified diamond-like carbon layers such as SICON or chromium nitride (CrN) as suitable for protecting tools and components.
The SurfaceTechnology line-up will once again include numerous special presentations. At the "Competence Center for Surface Technology" a fully functioning coating plant will showcase the products of the exhibition live. At the joint display stand Surface Plasma Network the focus will be on plasma coatings. At the "World of Surface Treatment" the industry association ZVO will showcase innovations all along the process chain. At a group presentation of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) companies specializing in paint coatings, abrasive blasting and industrial plasma technology will deal with energy savings among other things.
Unlike vertical market trade shows or conventional user-oriented fairs, SurfaceTechnology has a broad approach. Whether metal, plastic, wood, glass or ceramics, coating processes for numerous materials are at home in Hannover.
"The big advantage of SurfaceTechnology is its integration into the world’s most important trade fair for industrial technology."
"All the industrial sectors featured in Hannover – for example wind power, and compressed air and vacuum technology – rely on surface treatment products and are therefore potential customers and partners for our exhibitors."
Synergies apply to nanotechnology which is presented at Research & Technology and materials at Industrial Supply.