The project integrates perfectly in PN II at the prioritary field 3 – Environment, research direction 3.1 – Methods and mechanisms for reducing environmental pollution; research theme 3.1.1 – Technologies with low degree of pollution, especially the energy transport and output.
The project has as main objective the elaboration of technologies and achievement of new materials, destined to achieve hard surfaces for the aircraft components and for the turboengines used to produce energy, very low degree of pollution with no negative effects on humans.
The specific objective of the project is the elaboration of the new specific technologies for the surface coverings which must have a high degree of hardness, using HVOF thermal spray process, obtaining in this context new special materials for the achievement of the special properties required by the aircraft and turboengines components.
The goal of the project is the replacement of some strongly environmental polluting technologies and materials, having carcinogen effect on people, such as the “hard chrome plating”, with non-polluting technologies and materials (almost zero effect in the case of the project proposal) such as the HVOF thermal spray and WC/Co materials. The hard chrome plating is a technique that has been used for 50 years and it is an essential process associated both with the achievement of hard surfaces of the new pieces but also with the maintenance activities. This technology uses the chromium in the hexavalent state which is a known carcinogen and an environmental polluter. The environmental protection agencies from the most developed countries imposed in a first stage standards for the hexavalent chromium (MACT) and established permissible exposure limits (PEL) in the workplace of 100 milligrams / m3. The extremely recent studies have indicated that even at these standards the risk of cancer is very high, the presumed value which would lower the risk in a tolerable range would be between 0.5 - 5 milligrams / m3.
At the present, all the highly industrialized countries from EU and USA study different possibilities for the hard chrome replacement, the most advanced ones in this direction being the North American states.
The best results were obtained with the “thermal spray coating” process using the “high velocity oxygen fuel” (HVOF) technique.
For the pieces of great importance such as the aircraft and turboengine components, the assimilation of a new method for the achievement of hard surfaces is very complex because the performances which have to be reached are very high and their attestation very complicated.
The Romanian proposal is the hard chrome replacement, even for the extremely pretentious pieces, with a surface covering of “thermal spray coating” type according to a technology especially created for each support material using HVOF technique and a contribution material from the WC/Co group (in concordance with the support material).
It is for the first time in our country when such a project is tackled and especially in the case of pieces of great importance. The consortium was structured as to include the best specialists in the fields which will be approached. The institutions which participate to the achievement of the project have all the financial and personal resources necessary for the ongoing project. The heading equipments are in functioning state.
We consider the impact generated by the project extremely important both for the technical-scientific point of view - it is for the first time when it is approached and solved such a problem especially for the vital components, and economic point of view (launching of profitable business in the field of surface coatings and the diminution of cost price of the pieces, the new method being cheaper than the hard chrome.
There must not be neglected the social effect, creation of working places and holding the high qualified labors inside the country (the new method absorbing this category), but especially the effect upon the environment which is extremely important, eliminating thus an important pollution source which has a devastating effect (highly carcinogen) on the people in this sector.
The project proposal is extremely complicated, practically being an European level and importance project.