Thermal Spraying (Shield Coatings)


Portrait photo Olesch © Copyright: Carl Brunn


Elisa Olesch

Team Leader TS-S


+49 241 80-99963



Präzisions-LDS - Arc wire spraying of offshore coatings through AI employment

Short description:

Wind energy plays a significant role in the generation of electricity from renewable sources. Offshore plants in particular, whose locations in the sea are characterized by continuous and high wind speeds, are becoming increasingly important in order to ensure a sustainable energy supply. This requires affordable and reliable turbines for use in the sea. This results in increased demands on manufacturing processes. In particular, the use of surface technology can significantly improve the performance and quality of the plants or make their use possible in the first place.

Thermal spray (TS), as a part of surface technology, can reliably and fully meet the requirements for separate development and adjustment of bulk and surface properties, yet the technology is not used in some offshore applications. This contradiction is generally due to the fact that it is not possible to control and document the entire TS process chain with sufficiently low error tolerance. Within the scope of this research project, an automated and AI-monitored system for the continuous documentation and control of the TS processes will be developed and implemented as a model for two types of offshore coatings in order to achieve a cost reduction in manufacturing. For this purpose, corrosion protection coatings and plain bearing coatings will be developed and fundamentally investigated at the IOT. The resulting process, sensor and analysis data will be made available to an AI-based system in order to accelerate the development of coatings and to identify and eliminate deviations in a targeted manner. The overall objective is to use AI monitoring to increase the cost-effectiveness and quality of thermally sprayed coatings for highly stressed offshore applications.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy
Porject number:


Duration: October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2024


Armaturen II: Fine powder coatings with low post-processing requirements for corrosion and wear protection in the valve industry

Short description:

The operating costs of valves are significantly influenced by friction and wear. High wear decreases the service life and the maintenance intervals, whereas high friction increases the energy that is required for each switching operation. In the previous project, IGF 19.668 N, wear- and friction-reducing coatings were developed successfully by means of thermal spraying.

The focus of this research project is to reduce the manufacturing costs of such thermally sprayed coatings. For this purpose, novel near-net-shape coatings will be developed which achieve the desired surface quality by polishing without cost-intensive grinding processes. The good wear and corrosion properties achieved in the previous project should be maintained. For this purpose, novel material combinations of solid lubricants and wear-resistant coatings are applied by means of high velocity air fuel spraying (HVAF) and high velocity oxygen fuel spraying (HVOF), as well as the novel ultra-HVOF (UHVOF). Finer powder fractions are used for these process variants, whereby undesired decarbonization and oxidation reactions during application are kept at a minimum level.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Porject number:

IGF 21.927 N

Duration: July 7, 2021 to June 30, 2023


StacIE - Stack Scale-up – Industrialisation PEM Electrolysis (H2Giga)

Short description:

The production of green hydrogen is considered a key component of the energy transition. A decisive contribution to this is made by hydrogen electrolysis, which forms the bridge between primarily generated electrical energy and chemical energy. In the BMBF research project "Stack Scale-up - Industrialization PEM Electrolysis (StacIE)", the Institute of Surface Engineering (IOT) at RWTH Aachen University, together with ten other project partners from industry and research institutions, is striving to increase the efficiency of PEM electrolysis (Proton Exchange Membrane) for the gigawatt scale. Using thermal spraying and laser cladding processes, novel coating solutions for corrosion protection of the bipolar plates (BPP) as well as porous conductive transport layers (PTL) with application-specific layer structure are developed. The disruptive use of these coating processes is expected to significantly reduce the manufacturing costs of PEM electrolysis and make it competitive with other electrolysis processes in the long term. With the aid of the processes used, composite systems of BPP and PTL are also to be applied directly to one another for the first time. This should reduce interfacial resistances and thus enable further increases in efficiency.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Porject number:


Duration: April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2025


Theleis – Thermally sprayed coatings with good thermal conductivity and electrical insulation

Short description:

In this research project, a thermally sprayed coating is developed which has good thermal conductivity and at the same time ensures the electrical insulation of electrical components. This is implemented in cooperation with the project partner obz innovation GmbH. Increasing the power densities, especially in fast charging in e-mobility, lead to rising operating temperatures of the power electronics. Therefore, an adequate heat dissipation for electrical components while maintaining the electrical insulation is necessary. By varying the material chemistry and the microstructure of the applied coatings, the thermal resistance of the insulation coating is to be reduced without limiting the insulating effect. The functionality of the developed Theleis coating can be verified with the aid of application-oriented tests.

Funding: Central Innovation Programme for SMEs
Porject number: KK5370601SU1
Duration: January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023