Real-time monitoring project
Thursday 01 February 2018
Sheffield Hallam University is pleased to announce that the National HIPIMS Technology Centre-UK at the Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) in partnership with Ionbond UK Ltd, has won a 12-month collaborative research project supported by Innovate UK, to help develop and implement new and innovative technology to enhance quality assurance capabilities in industrial production processes.
The aim of this project is to develop a strategy for real-time monitoring and control of plasma physical vapour deposition processes to increase the reproducibility of vital parameters such as coating thickness, coating composition, coating adhesion and vacuum quality and thereby provide significantly enhanced quality assurance of the coatings produced. This will enable penetration of the estimated seventy five percent of the market for PVD coatings in high value manufacturing that is not currently served, supporting innovation in this important sector of the UK economy.
Monitoring and control of all process stages – evacuation, substrate cleaning and coating deposition - will be, innovatively, undertaken using a single technology – optical emission spectrometry. This will be used to identify and monitor relevant emission lines associated with the particular process stage to identify and signal end points, including the thickness of the coating deposited. The approach will also be applied to condition monitoring of the coating equipment to optimise maintenance schedules and system availability.
Hauzer 1500 system at the Component coating facility in Consett, a £1.5M investment September 2017
High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) technology for industrial production of high value manufacturing components