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WHATThe National Centre of Competence for Materials, Advanced Technologies, Coatings and their Applications (MATCA) is an academic-industrial cooperation focused on the development and applications of three main technologies: plasma, laser and 3D printing (additive technology).
WHYMATCA develops, integrates and applies technologies of strategic importance in order to contribute to the knowledge-based economy. The technologies have an apparent economic and industrial potential, and are resource responsible and friendly to the environment.
HOWInstead of only focusing on production, MATCA takes responsibility for less attractive yet crucial parts of the product life cycle, such as renewal and waste processing. Consequently, the three main technologies are applied among the whole product life cycle.

Responsible productionRepairs and renewalClean waste processing
Additive technology
Laser surface modification
Plasma surface treatment
Mathematical simulation
Material analysis
Additive technology
Plasma surface treatment
Plasma gasification
Smart control
Processed waste analysis

In the 21st century, requirements for production have been changing – products need to be developed and delivered faster, products need to be made of functional materials, the production must be operative allowing for instant modifications of products ready for Industry 4.0 and products need to have sustainability as an imperative. To answer those requirements, the three main technologies will be developed and integrated in MATCA.

In order to be efficient, additive technology is more reliant on know-how than any other manufacturing tools. All the necessary support is available within MATCA, including material expertise, computer simulations and analytical methods.

Coatings and surface modifications generated by plasma and laser can be either used alone or can be applied on 3D printed materials overcoming their limits or providing them with functional properties.

Back to the whole cycle overview

If used wisely, additive technology unlocks great potential in rapid prototyping, functional design and other shaping concepts.
Plasma coating is a resource-efficient method for the deposition of metals, oxides, nitrides, ceramics etc.
Without adding any material, laser can be used to improve surface mechanical and functional properties.
Plasma treatment can be used as pre-processing for other technologies or alone to control wettability.
Computer simulations are crucial for topology optimization, generative design and for failure analysis.
Material analysis provides material constants for computer simulations and feedback for coating and surface modification development.

Today, part replacement is often induced only by local and limited wear occurring at areas crucial for functionality.

Appropriate geometry design of the part in combination with renewable coating applied especially on mating surfaces can prolong the lifespan of the part by only using a negligible amount of added material. Alternatively, the worn-out segment can be removed and reprinted.

Back to the whole cycle overview

Additive technology can be used to rebuild a failed segment of a part produced either additively or conventionally.
If well designed, protective coatings can be renewed after they worn out. Even a small amount of material can return the part to its production service.
Plasma treatment can be used as pre-processing for other technologies or alone for renewal of functional properties.

Growing waste production and amounts of dangerous substances involved call for safe and efficient alternatives for dumping or conventional burning.

Compared to conventional burning at about 900°C, plasma gasification employs temperatures of up to 5000°C in order to decompose waste into individual atoms. After cooling down, the processed waste is inert and significantly reduced in volume.

Back to the whole cycle overview

Plasma gasification is a safe, clean and energetically neutral way of waste processing.
In order to achieve the highest possible efficiency, smart regulation of the processing parameters is needed.
In order to have a safe and clean procedure, the resulting material needs be analyzed.
IMPACTThe project impacts several aspects of the production cycle: final products, means of production and engineering services. The high added value will have an impact far beyond the consortium, influencing the whole production chain.
WHY NOWThe industrial potential of the technologies involved has been proven but, due to their complexity, remain largely unexploited. Therefore there is a great opportunity to develop, integrate and apply knowledge and skills.