New Coating Technology Paves Way For Next Generation Of Super Pumps

21.05.2001

A breakthrough coating technology originally developed in Russia has opened up the potential for a new generation of low-cost, long-life, light alloy pumps capable of operating in various conditions and which will have a major impact on the global marketplace.

Known as KERONITE, the process produces a surface on alloys of Aluminium which effectively eliminates corrosion, significantly reduces wear and prevents contamination of the fluids being pumped.

As such this opens up the door for pump manufacturers to switch from production using steel to cost effective alloys - and achieve superior results.

The technology is able to achieve this by using environmentally friendly electrolytic conversion which transforms the metal surface using a plasma discharge in a liquid electrolyte to form a layer of hard, dense and corrosion resistant oxide. This ensures the surface can withstand the complete spectrum of abrasive and aggressive materials which have in the past eventually destroyed pumps.

Exhaustive tests have shown that the benefits of Aluminium coated with KERONITE include

  • Surface hardness up to 2,000 HV and wear resistance significantly superior to that of hard anodising and hard chrome plating

  • Extreme adhesion in that the actual surface of the metal is transformed creating a tight atomic bond, so being much more effective than an adhesive coating such as hard chrome plating
  • High corrosion resistance with tests carried out in a salt fog chamber demonstrating KERONITE unaffected for more than 7,000 hours on certain alloys
  • Superior dielectric strength in that it can withstand voltages in excess of 10 V/mm DC, with total thickness reaching up to 100 mm

Original research on KERONITE began in Russia in the 1980’s when scientists began looking for a coating process for light alloys. Several separate groups based in Novosibirsk, Moscow and Tula all pursued the same goal using a process called Micro Discharge Oxidation - but it was still a long way from being a true industrial technology when State funding finally ran out in the turbulent early 1990's.

It was left to Dr Alexander Shatrov, one of the world's leading experts in industrial coatings and electrochemistry, to turn KERONITE from dream to reality with a number of patents. Today he can be found heading up the research and development team of KERONITE Ltd at its headquarters in Cambridge, UK.

The scientific team behind KERONITE has also achieved another world first recently. It has developed a new family of low-cost, Aluminium alloys to provide the perfect match for KERONITE - or as standalone products. What is unique about these is that their properties are closer to those found in wrought alloys rather than cast. And their low Silicon contents ensure optimum results for the KERONITE process.

According to Dr Alexander Shatrov, a number of independent tests by pump manufacturers in Russia have already demonstrated the low friction coefficient of KERONITE and the increased service life of KERONITE-coated pumps

  • The service life of roller vane pump casings coated with KERONITE was quadrupled
  • The use of KERONITE-coated Aluminium, instead of cast iron and steel, in vane pumps decreased the weight of the pumps by two thirds and trebled their service life
  • Substituting Aluminium plus KERONITE plus PTFE for stainless steel in gear pumps used with aggressive liquids in the chemical industry increased service life by up to six times

"We are in the business of developing the technology not products," says Dr Pavel Shashkov, KERONITE's Technical Director. "Now we are looking for a pump manufacturer with sufficient foresight and resources to ensure that KERONITE helps pave the way for the next generation of super pumps . . ."

About KERONITE Limited

KERONITE Limited was established for the commercial development of a technology known as KERONITE, a breakthrough method of transforming the surface of light metals and their alloys to greatly enhance their hardness, wear, temperature and corrosion resistance properties.

This technology can efficiently and cost effectively be used as a substitute for Plasma Spray Ceramc coating, Hard Anodising, Plating, Chromating, Nickel-Silicon Carbide and some other traditional coatings with applications in industries as diverse as automotive, aerospace, printing, consumer electronics and textiles.

KERONITE Limited has signed several licensing agreement with UK, Italian and German coating companies. Isle Coat Limited plans further installations with various US, European and Asian coating service providers.

To date the company works with over 30 companies world wide.

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