Consortium Introduces Composite Coating Based on Nanoparticles

14 April 2008

The pan-European Foremost consortium has completed the development of its first composite coating, based on ApNano Materials’ inorganic fullerene (IF) nanoparticles.

The new coating is being considered for plating advanced parts by some of Foremost partners and other industrial firms, to achieve improved efficiency, reduced emission, and extended equipment lifetimes in harsh conditions. The coating developed by Foremost has better lubricating properties than several commercially available ones tested under the same conditions, lasting tens of thousands cycles longer.

The innovative coating was introduced in a meeting of the scientific and executive committee of Foremost (Fullerene-based Opportunities for Robust Engineering: Making Optimized Surfaces for Tribology), held in Israel in February.

Foremost’s total budget is €18.9 million. It is funded by the European Union’s Sixth Framework Program for Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledge based Multifunctional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices.

The objective of Foremost is to provide radically improved coatings and lubricants to significantly reduce friction and wear in order to substantially save energy, extend operating lifetimes, reduce maintenance and reduce the environmental impact of machines, automobiles and trucks, and other modes of transportation.

This project gives pan-European recognition of ApNano Materials technology and business. Foremost’s 31 members, in addition to NanoMaterials (ApNano Materials’ R&D company), include EADS, the parent company of Airbus, Renault-Nissan, the giant automobile manufacturer, Fuchs, the world's largest independent lubricant company, Rolls Royce jet engines, and IonBond, among others.

ApNano Materials’ fullerenes are particles of tungsten disulfide (WS2) that have a structure of nested spheres, called inorganic fullerenes, which lubricate mainly by rolling like miniature ball bearings. When used as an additive to liquid oil or grease, the nanoparticles significantly enhance the lubricating properties of the oil or grease with respect to wear and friction by an order of magnitude versus the same lubricant without this additive.

""We are proud that this distinguished pan-European consortium has introduced the new coating, based on our technology, which will contribute to the global efforts to save energy and reduce pollution,"" said Dr. Menachem Genut, President and CEO of ApNano Materials. Dr. Genut was a research fellow in the original research group which discovered the inorganic fullerene nanoparticles at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and first to synthesize the new material. The group was led by Professor Reshef Tenne, currently the Director of Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Nanoscale Science at the Weizmann Institute.

""The achievement of the Foremost consortium, and the fact that its members include top European manufacturers, further demonstrate the commercial potential of our technology,” said Aharon Feuerstein, co-Founder, Chairman and CFO of ApNano Materials.

“Foremost is another milestone in making the inorganic fullerenes a global standard for creating innovative lubricants and composite coatings that will highly reduce friction and wear and prolong machinery life,” said Dr. Niles Fleischer VP of Business and Product Development of ApNano Materials

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