R&D Center for surface engineering, plasma technologies and solar energy development “Plasma” ltd. is located in Skopje , Republic of Macedonia. Plasma was established in march 2004. The CEO of PLASMA is Associated prof. Dr. Ilija Nasov. PLASMA numbers 9 employees (PhD, engineers ,additional staff members and external scientific collaborators ).
1. PLASMA has contemporary and fully ecological, vacuum-plasma equipments and technologies:
PLASMA has two R&D departments:
2.1 PVD FUNCTIONAL COATINGS
2.2 PVD SELECTIVE COATINGS FOR SOLAR THERMAL ABSORBERS
New types of absorbers for hot water solar collectors, coated with PVD-sputtered selective coatings
Plasma can provide production of PVD sputtered selective coatings on absorbers for low and middle temperature solar thermal collectors. In the last period in RD phase is high temperature selective coatings. The coatings are based on Titanium, Al, Stainless steel, Cr.... composites with other metals and gas ions protected with AlN, Al2O3 or SiN and SiO2... The coatings have very high absorption coefficient and very low reflectivity and emissivity. The coatings characterized with very high long term stability in vacuum and normal atmospheric conditions , high resistivity to corrosion and thermal stress.
2.3. PVD INDUSTRIAL COATINGS - SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
Plasma provide easy and reproducible deposition of variety hard, wear resistant thin films, multi-layers, nanolaminates and gradient composition coatings. Along with the standard single-layer coatings, such as TiN, TiCN, CrN, TiAlN, AlTiN and AlCrN, we do multi-layer coatings, such as TiN/TiCN and gradient composition coatings, such as TiN/TiAlN/AlTiN with continuous change of Al content with improved performance for dry steel machining. Typical hardness of our TiN/TiAlN/AlTiN coating is 3300 Hv.
The main goal of our system is the ability to deposit Carbon based nanocomposites with amorphous Carbon and hydrogenated amorphous Carbon top layers. These coatings are hard (25 – 30 GPa), wear resistant, smooth, with low friction (0,16 to 0,18 static coefficient of friction), with low surface energy (hydrophobic, the wetting angle is above 110 O) and biocompatible. The main application of these coatings is for anti-sticking and wear resistant coating onto plastics forming tools and dies. These can be used as protective coatings onto cutting tools for machining of non-ferrous metals, especially hard Aluminum alloys.
We can deposit coatings in wide range of substrate temperatures – between 150 OC and 400OC. Such a way we can do coatings onto hard to coat materials, such as brass and cold work steel.
We have developed Cr based Carbon containing nanolaminate coating with hardness within the range 20 – 21 GPa, excellent adhesion to substrate and good hydrophobicity. This coating was developed to replace 25 microns thick electroplated Ni anti-corrosion coating. It’s anti-corrosion resistance is even better in comparison with the thick Ni coating at 3,7 microns thickness only. Having in mind the coating hardness and the coefficient of friction (0,21 static COF), this coating can successfully replace the hard chrome coatings.
Coatings characterization: We have developed simple manual ball cratering machine for coatings thickness measurement by monocular microscope. We can measure film thicknesses within the range 1 to 5 μm with 0,1 μm resolution. The coating hardness is measured by nanoindentation, the coatings adhesion is measured by scratch test. For qualitative evaluation of the coatings adhesion we use Brinell tester for volume hardness measurement. In a near future we plan to obtain ball-on-disc tribotester.
We have deposition of Carbon based nanocomposite coatings, along with deposition of standard hard, wear resistant coatings for variety of applications.
Recently we have developed new coatings - Ti/TiN/CrN-ml (superlattice) with hardness of 30 GPa and multilayer coatings with last layer of DLC: Ti/TiN/TiCN/nc-TiCN:a-C:H/nc-TiC:a-C:H/a-C:H with harness of 25 GPa and coefficient of wear 0.20.
2.4 PlASMA NITRIDING
Dependence of Hardness (HV0,1) from thickness of the plasma nitrided layer on different steels
2.5. ECOLOGICAL GALVANIC COATINGS on Al, Cu, brass, Mg, plastics, glass, ceramics etc.
3. PLASMA’s SCIENTIFIC COLABORATION
PLASMA is a high technology knowledge based company and is fully oriented and opened for research and collaboration. PLASMA has scientific collaboration with more than 60 institutes and RD companies.
4. RD PROJECTS
Grand Prix - Innovation: PVD, Plasma Nitriding and Oxinitriding, Macedonian Economic Chamber, Technoma–Makinova, Skopje, 2005
Winner in Western Balkans Development Marketplace - Project Title: New compact absorber for solar collectors with selective coatings, Organized by The World Bank, Belgrade, 2006
Gold Medal - Nikola Tesla - Innovation: Plasma oxinitriding, Belgrade Association of Inventors and Technical Improvements, International Fair of Innovation, Belgrade, 2006
I-st Place Diploma - Academy of Innovators of Serbia and API SCG, International Fair of Innovation, Belgrade, 2006
During these 4 years, Plasma researched and developed many new plasma nitriding processes, PVD coatings, new ecological galvanic, chemical and electrochemical coatings and combinations of these technologies. Some of them are patented in the country and abroad:
Z. O. Vitalovich, I. Nasov, The way of forming PVD coatings on the surface of the constructive steel after plasma nitriding, 74749, MPK 2006, Ministry of Education and Science, Ukraina, 2006
I. Nasov, Selective coatings on absorbers for solar collectors, P-2006/83,
I. Nasov, Absorbers for solar collectors with selective coatings on the wings and on the tubes of the absorbers P-2007/153,
7. CURRENT RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES:
7.1.Antibacterial coatings based on Ag, Cu, Ti...and many the other metals ....
7.2.Bariere coatings for water and oxygen permeability’s on polymers and the other metallic or non metallic substrates.
7.3.AR coatings for solar energy application, specially for solar absorbers
7.4.Reflective coatings : Ag, Al , Stainless steel ...applicated on metals or non metals materials.
7.5.Hydrophobic and hydrophilic coatings
7.6.Special plasma nitriding process on Stainless steel substrates to increase wear resistant, hardness....with higher corrosion resistant than normal stainless steel without plasma nitriding treated , specially created for food industry equipment.
7.7.Recently, the company started to work with combination of the above-mentioned procedures for industrial applications. The newest method in “Plasma”, which is still in development state , is the original plasma duplex process: plasma nitriding + vacuum plasma active screen coating with alloying metals: Cr, Mo, W, Al. + PVD coating . With this method, the microstructure and the properties of the surface layer are improved and the characteristics increase additional.
7.8. Consulting of Producing new PVD and plasma nitriding chambers,