Technologies

MATCA works with three main technologies – plasma, laser and additive manufacturing – that share three common attributes:

  • They are of strategic importance and crucial for local and global competitiveness.
  • They require sophisticated facilities and a high level of know-how, providing high added value in response.
  • They are strongly related and their mutual integration facilitates groundbreaking applications.

Additive manufacturing

The academic-industrial cooperation of MATCA can significantly improve the advances in additive manufacturing. The research institute will contribute with facilities and expertise for rigorous research while the industrial partners provide technical know-how, market knowledge, penetration capability and economical feedback. This combination will create the following advantages:

  • Deepened understanding of additive materials via analyses, testing and mathematical simulations.
  • Deepened understanding of the 3D printing process via mathematical simulations and experiments.
  • Development of additive engineering based on the high involvement of mathematical simulations and generative designs.
  • Integration of 3D printing with other technologies developed in MATCA.
  • Realization of the most promising applications using MATCA’s extensive knowledge of the market and industry.
Competence within the consortium
TUL BAL In-house additive technology.
CARDAM TUL BAL Additive engineering and applications.
CARDAM CZUB Development of multiphysical and mathematical simulations.
FZU TUL PU Expertise and facilities for material research.
FZU IPP TUL MUNI HVM Plasma coating and/or surface treatment.
HiLASE Laser-based surface modification.
Interconnections with other technologies
PLASMA ‒ The main connection with plasma technology is either via surface plasma treatment or plasma coatings (see COATING).
LASER ‒ Laser is typically behind the material fusion in powder bed machines. MATCA will mainly focus on laser based surface modifications, such as laser shock peening for improvement of surface hardness or roughness or to introduce functional properties by pattern engraving.
COATING ‒ In many applications coating will be essential to overcome limits posed by additive materials, allowing to apply 3D printed products and tools in new ways or fields. Plasma coating is especially promising due to extreme adhesion, applicability to metals and polymeric substances and a wide range of coating materials.
SIMULATION ‒ To fully exploit possibilities of additive technologies, one needs to start thinking additive. As for design, this includes extensive use of computer simulations, topology optimization and, if possible, generative design. Moreover, computer simulations are important for failure analysis.
ANALYSIS ‒ Quantification of material properties is an essential input for reliable design and mathematical simulations. It also provides feedback needed for material development and gives valuable information in failure analysis.

Plasma

The consortium members have a long tradition in the research of physics focused on the generation, characterisation and building of plasma systems. This provides a basis for two major application areas.
The first area of plasma-based applications developed within MATCA is surface modification. One kind of modification is surface plasma treatment, which efficiently cleans and activates the surface or temporarily induces functional properties like wettability. Another widely applicable modification is plasma coating. A variety of technologies allow for deposition of numerous materials such as metals, oxides, nitrides and ceramics in order to design and apply protective and functional coatings.

The second major application area is plasma gasification. The purpose of this method is to burn waste at significantly higher temperatures than conventional burning. At up to 5000°C even hazardous waste decomposes to individual atoms and turns into safe, non-reactive matter after it cools down. The development will mainly focus on the following aspects:

  • Testing of different plasma sources.
  • Research of factors that affect the burning and cooling efficiency.
  • Development of control systems that keep the procedure safe and energetically neutral.
  • Analysis of the processed waste.
Competence within the consortium
FZU TUL MUNI HVM LET VS Applications of plasma technology.
FZU IPP MUNI HVM VS Construction of plasma systems.
FZU IPP MUNI HVM Plasma characterization.
FZU IPP TUL MUNI HVM Plasma coating and/or surface treatment.
Interconnections with other technologies
ADDITIVE ‒ The main connection of plasma with additive technology is either via surface plasma treatment or plasma coatings (see COATING).
LASER ‒ Laser-based surface modifications applied on plasma coatings can further enhance new functional properties. Moreover, laser is closely connected to plasma technology as one of the possible plasma sources.
COATING ‒ Plasma-based coating technologies allow for coating numerous substrates with various materials including metals, oxides, nitrides and ceramics. Compared to electrolytic coating, plasma technology allows for higher adhesion and resource efficiency.
CONTROL ‒ An advanced electronic control system needs to be developed for plasma gasification, in order to achieve the highest possible efficiency of burning and cooling.
ANALYSIS ‒ In depth analysis is needed for research on processed waste, using plasma gasification as well as the characterisation of deposed coatings.

Laser

Even though the competence of the consortium is significantly broader, MATCA will primarily focus on laser-based surface modifications applied on additively manufactured parts or plasma coatings.
The modification technique laser shock peening relies on a irradiating water-overlaid surface, with a short high-power laser pulse. A vapor generated by the laser pulse on the interface between the water and sample peens the surface affecting the mechanical properties. The focus will be on laser shock peening applied on additively manufactured samples.
Another modification is based on engraving regular microscopic patterns into the surface. The arrangement and scaling of the patterns is designed to induce functional properties as wettability. This application is especially of interest when combined with plasma coating or treatment.
Competence within the consortium
HiLASE Laser-based surface modifications.
HiLASE FZU IPP LET PU Construction of sources and/or optical elements.
HiLASE FZU IPP TUL LET PU Industrial applications of laser technology.
Interconnections with other technologies
ADDITIVE ‒ When applied on 3D-printed samples, laser shock peening can enhance the properties or overcome drawbacks of additive technology opening up ways of new applications.
LASER ‒ Laser is closely connected to plasma technology as one the of possible plasma sources. Development and know-how in this field is therefore necessary concerning plasma technology.
COATING ‒ Combining the effect of plasma coating with laser-based surface modifications can enhance their properties. Alternatively, the plasma coating can be designed as an ideal substrate for consecutive application of laser-based modification.
ANALYSIS ‒ Understanding the effect of the laser-based surface modifications on plasma coatings or additive materials require a number of mechanical tests and detailed insight of the material structure.