A short overview of historical projects


Development of novel concept of engineered layered composites


The project


  • Partnered with University of Miskolc Hungary (www.uni-miskolc.hu) and DFG Hungary (www.dfg.hu)
  • Materials feasibility study : development of improved heat transfer macro composites with the aid of numerical simulations and 3D-printing techniques
  • Coupled with realistic tribological experiments @Falex Tribology
    • Expansion of thermal sensing on tribometers
    • Simulation of high friction interactions, e.g. in brakes
    • Case study railroad cargo car brakes



Micropitting FAST: Flemish research facility on pitting and micropitting damage mechanims


The project


  • Supports investment in key hardware to efficiently study pitting and micropitting damage in roll-slide contacts.
    • PCS MPR MicroPitting test rig accelerates pitting and micropitting mechanisms, allowing testing of oils or surfaces within 24 hours
    • Keyence VR 6000 Profiler with rotation unit, measures test rollers over 360° in one go
  • Cooperative projects with Flemish academia and industry clusters envisaged.
    • fundamental projects
    • expansion of test methodologies (from liquid to grease lubrication ?)
  • Offers independent testing facility to Flemish, Belgian and surrounding industry enabling the mitigation of pitting and micropitting problems in industrial applications
    • wind turbine gears and bearings
    • EV motor bearings 



FACT: Falex Application Centre for Tribology


The project


  • Developing an alternative to the current friction-based detection of the end of a tribological measurement for material classes.  The goal is to get the measurements more efficient via suitable online sensors (including thermal, acoustic, vibration and
    displacement sensors).
  • The further development and testing of a multi-station tribometer (MST) with 10 stations with modular interchangeable sensors for end-of-measurement detection.
  • To ensure the reproducibility and operator independence of the new developed MST, the inter-MST reproducibility, measured over at least 3 devices, must be smaller than 3 times the MST repeatability.
  • The development of tribological standard measurement procedures per considered material class in preparation of a possible ASTM standard.





The project

Ultra-hard nanocoatings can replace polluting hard chromium

When it comes to ultra-hard surfaces, chromium is king. But it is also toxic to the environment. The EU-funded MOZART project wants to create a sustainable alternative to hard chromium by using nanocomposite coatings. Nanocomposite coatings can offer unique properties for materials, like corrosion resistance or high hardness, based on a layer of nanoparticles. Manufacturers can use existing infrastructure, making them low-cost. Using AI-driven simulations and advanced electroplating techniques, the project will show the use of the new coatings in pilot scale as well as in corporate demonstrations in the manufacturing, automotive and machinery industries.


The MOZART project proposes sustainable coating solutions for replacement of hard chromium in specific applications based on nano-composite electroplating processes. Nano-composite coatings are potential candidates as durable protective coatings in applications where high wear and corrosion resistance is needed. Their significant advantage compared to other alternative solutions to HC is that they can be produced from the existing infrastructure of plating shops by applying low-cost modification in the lines for the safe integration of nano-particles, keeping thus the investment level low.
The MOZART project proposes a multidisciplinary approach for achieving high quality durable composite coatings as replacement to hard chromium. The proposed technologies have been already validated in the lab scale (TRL 3) on previous EC, national or institutional projects and will reach TRL 5 by the end of the project, validated in pilot scale and real demonstrators. The proper integration and combination of these technologies will bring the nano-composite coatings to the desired technology maturity. More specifically during the MOZART project a combination of technologies will be used under a Safe & Sustainable by Desing strategy: In-silico method (Artificial Intelligence and Simulations), on-line monitoring technologie, chemical functionalization of nanoparticles and advance electroplating techniques.
The novel nano-composite coatings will be tested in demonstrators introduced from companies (SMEs or LEs) in the field of manufacturing, automotive and machinery.

read more


Take advantage of the use of nano-particles for production of composite coatings with superior properties compared to those of hard chromium produced by electroplating or to WC-Co produced by thermal spray.


The project

PROCETS main target is to deliver protective coatings covering a wide range of applications such as automotive, aerospace, metal-working, oil and gas and cutting tools industries via thermal spray and electroplating methods by utilizing more environmental friendly materials, compared to the currently used. This will allow the replacement of the hazardous process of hard chromium plating and WC-Co coatings via thermal spray.


The development and exploitation of the technology as proposed by PROCETS project is based on a series of well-defined objectives. Apart from adherence to standards, a number of scalable methods and properties will be optimized, in order to provide the next generation of protective coatings that will enable the shift to more environmental friendly materials with enhanced properties.

read more


Advanced Simulation and control of tribology in metal forming Processes for the North-West European Consumer goods and Transport sectors (ASPECT)

The aim of ASPECT is to develop advanced simulations technology to account for temperature increase and adaptive control systems to adjust the machine settings during the start-up of the production line.

Top research capabilities on tribological simulations and process control are available in the Netherlands and Switzerland, while Germany, France and the Netherlands are hosting a high number of automotive, aerospace and consumer goods manufacturing lines.

The change ASPECT will produce:

  • up to 40% increase in productivity for manufacturing OEMs;
  • 20-25% reduction of maintenance costs;
  • new design capabilities for metal alloys and lubricants.

The novelty of ASPECT:

  • prediction and control of tribological conditions by developing both accurate and computationally-efficient simulations;
  • robustness of the results demonstrated across two representative industrial sectors - automotive parts and personal care consumer products - covering both sides of the dimensional range;
  • whole supply chain involved right from the project implementation phase.

The outputs:

  • advanced tribological simulations;
  • robust and fully-automated forming processes demonstrated in two existing forming lines;
  • new joint demo facility with open access for training and education;
  • dissemination via relevant manufacturing clusters in NWE area;
  • guidelines to improve the material, tool and lubricant design.

The long term benefits: products with complex shapes and based on advanced materials; highly skilled jobs; customer satisfaction ensuring competitiveness of the industry.  



New Generation of Protective Coatings Alternative to Hard Chrome


Official information can be found here


HardAlt Objective


One of the most widely used coatings in the world, is hard chrome as it exhibits unique properties that help prevent wear and corrosion. The annual cost of corrosion alone is estimated to account for 3.1% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Protective coatings help to reduce the cost of these deleterious mechanisms and thus are popular engineering solutions. However, hard chromium faces many problems: EU restrictions due to the use of hexavalent chromium; health issues for the plating industry personnel due to associated cancers; functional defects of the coatings; and, the low current efficiency in plating. There is therefore an urgent need to find an alternative which is the ultimate aim of this exciting  new project.


About this Research Programme


Research for SMEs Associations aims at developing technical solutions to problems common to a large number of SMEs in specific industrial sectors or segments of the value chain, through research that could not be addressed under Research for SMEs. Projects must be driven by the SME associations, which are given the opportunity to subcontract research to RTD performers in order for them to acquire the necessary technological knowledge for their members. Projects must have clear exploitation potential and economic benefits for the SME members of the associations involved.


Read more

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.factlabs.org/