Surface engineering

Surface functionalization to support the design of components

Technological offer

Surface engineering offer is addressed at assuring technological innovation for such industrial sectors as steel, transportation, oil & gas, aerospace & defence and renewables.

RINA develops high performing solutions for wear and friction, corrosion, thermal insulation, catalysis, radiation absorption and good-looking surfaces, up to the selective interaction with chemical compounds.

The availability of a team of experts and the rich provision of pilot scale equipment assures the possibility of handling and managing all classes of materials (metallic, composite, ceramics) and the adoption of the best-fitting process / material compromise for any specific application.

Finally, through our tribology laboratory, we provide organizations with a nimble testing structure designed to characterize materials and surfaces both with standard and customized tests.

Focus on lab & facilities

We rely on advanced facilities for the surface modification of components and of presently developed structures. Some of these are:

- Plasma spray (PS)

This facility is able to handle many types of materials, selecting the best operating practices in terms of coating quality and adhesion to substrates.

The process chamber allows to create four different operating conditions: Air Plasma Spray (APS), Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS), High Pressure Plasma Spray (HPPS) and Controlled Atmosphere Plasma Spray (CAPS). The thickness of the coatings it is usually between 0.3 and 1 mm.

- High velocity oxy fuel (HVOF)

This is an industrial-sized deposition equipment, operated thanks to a multiaxial robot. Different from the plasma spray technology, HVOF uses kerosene combustion as its thermal source and produces process gas, reaching exit speeds of about 5 Mach, thus guaranteeing full-density coating. HVOF’s coating thickness ranges around 0.5-2mm and it can manage 500*500*500 mm sized pieces.

- Plasma transferred act (PTA)

PTA is a melting/welding process usually used for hardfacing of components subject to wear and/or corrosion. It uses a high density plasma arc and an electric arc, called Transferred Arc, to melt both the base metal and the filler metal. This facility allows to reach a coating thickness that ranges between 0.5-5 mm by handling both flat and cylindrical pieces whose maximum length and width (or diameter) can be, respectively, 1000 mm and 400 mm.

- Plasma assisted physical vapour deposition (PA-PVD)

This facility is based on two source modes: arc and RF sputtering. It is able to deposit both stoichiometry and microstructure-controlled single and multi-layer coatings, and co-deposited materials; nanostructured coatings can be synthetized, too. The coating thickness achievable through PA-PVD also depends on the source mode adopted.

- Pack Cementation

This is a chemical vapor deposition technique useful to coat mechanical components by diffusion. The pack cementation process takes place at high temperature and the components are inserted into a retort containing also a powder mixture consisting of elements to be deposited (source), a halide salt (activator), an inert diluent (filler). The equipment can work both in vacuum and in controlled atmosphere and it is possible to coat also inner surfaces of the component. Thicknesses can vary between 30 and 100 µm. An improvement in resistance to oxidation and hot corrosion is achieved.

- Cold gas spray (CGS)

A deposition system using CGS has been installed at the research unit of Lamezia Terme (Calabria, Italy). Differently from other thermal spray techniques, the GCS technique doesn’t melt powder particles but uses high kinetic energy and coatings of a wide variety of materials such as metals, alloys and metal-based composites can be deposited. Being a cold process, the initial physical and chemical properties of the particles remain unaffected by the process and the heating of the substrate is minimal.

- Tribological coatings

Very often the coatings are applied to increase tribological properties of the surface so our laboratory is equipped with different facilities to simulate multiple operating conditions to meet your specific needs:

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