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Nanostructure Coatings


Investigation of Plasma Technology for Nanostructure Layer Deposition

Tech Area / Field

  • MAN-MCH/Machinery and Tools/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAN-MPS/Manufacturing, Planning, Processing and Control/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAN-TRI/Tribology/Manufacturing Technology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
MAI (Moscow Aircraft Institute), Russia, Moscow


  • Cheju National University, Korea, Jeju

Project summary

Project Goal. The purpose of the Project is to study the impact of designing and operational factors on the quality of plasma technology for nanostructure formation 1) at the atmospheric pressure using atmospheric pressure spraying (APS) and micro-arc oxidation in an electrolyte solution; 2) at the lowered pressure using joint operation of a magnetron and a plasma source of Hall type.

State of the art in the field of investigation. During more than 50 years nanotechnologies are being developed at the “Plasma coating technology” lab of the “Technology of flying objects’ engine production” MAI Chair (MAI Chair No. 205), at the nano-dimension structure lab of the MAI Chair No. 204 and at the MAI Research Institute of Applied Mechanics and Electrodynamics (RIAME MAI) having rich experience in investigations and practical applications of plasma physics and technologies. In particular at the “Plasma coating technology” lab of MAI Chair No. 205 plasma nanostructures of “hard lubricant” type were obtained applied in specific products of aviation industry branch of Russia and France (SNECMA Co.) featuring several orders of magnitude lower fretting-wear characteristics against traditional coatings. Such abrupt property jump indicated quantum effect manifestation that led to significant increase of coating hardness and cut of its wear and friction coefficients. Similar improvements of mechanical and heat-protection properties were observed for different parts of engines and energy systems of flying objects. Nanostructure lab of MAI Chair No. 204 and RIAME specialists actively participate in these technologic developments.

The project influence on the progress in the field of investigation. So accumulated experience in the studies and practical applications of plasma nanotechnologies will promote the front of this high technology investigations. The progress should be expected in the field of aviation and space engines, in the first place meaning their service life, because the area of activities for participants of the Project is closely related to these branches of mechanical engineering.

Competence of the participants in the field considered. The participants of the Project have rich experience of theoretical and experimental investigations in the field of plasma technologies. This fact is confirmed by their numerous publications in literature and reports at conferences of different levels. These publications contain their main results.

Expected Results and Their Application. This proposal is an applied investigation. The following results are expected to be obtained: 1) R&D of atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) methods producing nano-structure coatings; 2) modernization of the industrial plasma spraying system Sulzer-Metco (Switzerland) to remove copper vapor contamination from its plasma jet; 3) refinement of the previously developed APS technology of many-layer coatings for samples modeling turbo-jet fan blade lock contact in order to increase their service life counteracting fretting-wear; 4) refinement of process parameters for micro-arc oxidation; 5) increase of technical and energy effectiveness of the micro-arc oxidation process adding nano-particles to electrolyte; 6) R&D of vacuum plasma methods and technologies using magnetron and Hall type plasma source; 7) manufacturing and investigation of composite and single-component nano-structure samples with adjustable structure grains obtained in the modernized vacuum facility УВН 3.2765.036.

The results of this work in the form of recommendations can be used by the engineering and aviation industry in high-technology research and manufacturing.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives. Several scientists taking part in the Project were involved previously in the development of missile carriers. Switching to nano dimensions leads to realization of principally new physical phenomenon in which quantum nature of elements’ valence links is revealed. In most cases it improves thermo-physical and mechanical properties of nanostructures from the standpoint of their engineering use resulting in strong, light, hard, and wear-resistant materials – metals, alloys, ceramics, composites. Mastering the production of such structures will help to promote real technical progress.

Scope of Activities. Developments of new high technologies demand arrangement of numerous experimental R&D works using actively sophisticated diagnostic instruments. In the frames of the Project the following works and investigations will be carried out: 1) modernization of the industrial arc plasmatron system M1000 (Sulzer Metco, Switzerland) using the A-plasmatron with corresponding reworking of plasmatron fixing parts and modernization of its feeding system supplying two- or three-liquid or possibly gaseous precursors into plasma jet for plasma spraying pyrolysis in plasma flow and on a substrate surface; 2) comparative analysis of atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) processes using the standard M1000 plasmatron and the new A-plasmatron to disclose the role of copper vapor contaminations in a plasma flow; 3) carrying out APS processes with the A-plasmatron to deposit wear-resistant coatings on model samples of fan turbo-jet blade locks; 4) experimental investigation of micro-arc oxidizing (MAO) technology parameters to find more precisely process parameters for the formation of nano-structure interlayer between a substrate and an external oxide layer; 5) increasing technical and energy effectiveness of MAO processes optimizing composition of electrolyte solution using nano-particle additives; 6) modernizing vacuum plasma technology research facility УВН 3.2765.036 switching to oil-free pumping: assembling a turbovac pumping aggregate, installing means of vacuum control and measurement, modification of a working substance feeding system; 7) R&D of vacuum plasma deposition technology using magnetron and Hall source installed in the modernized vacuum facility УВН.

Role of Foreign Collaborators. Within the framework of the Project, the following forms of cooperation with collaborators are planned: joint working seminars; exchange of information on the project; presenting of comments to technical reports; assistance to participants of the Project in attending international meetings and conferences.

Technical Approach and Methodology. To achieve the above mentioned goals of the Project, experimental methods of development and investigation of nano-structure deposition technologies will be employed because theoretical methods in this new field are at the initial stage of development.

The above mentioned modernization of the M100 system using A-plasmatron must significantly improve the quality of technology under development. Comparative analysis of atmospheric plasma spraying processes with a conventional and new plasmatrons will allow to characterize qualitatively the role of copper vapors coming into plasma flow due to anode erosion.

Experimental investigation of micro-arc oxidation (MAO) forming nanostructure intermediate layer between a substrate and an oxide coating will provide stable reproduction of this technologic effect disclosed in previous studies. As a result boundaries of operational parameters that provide the obtainment of this effect will be determined.

Further investigation of MAO processes is planned to improve the properties of oxide coatings and to cut energy consumption by way of nano-particle introduction into oxide coatings, including carbon and diamond ones, that come into the coating from electrolyte containing such particles.

Modernization of the existing vacuum facility УВН 3.2765.036 switching to oil-less pumping will improve the quality of vacuum processes of coating deposition. In particular adhesion of deposited films and purity of their material should rise along with general improvement of films. For this purpose turbo-molecular pumping aggregate should be purchased to replace existing oil-pumping system including use of modern means of vacuum control and measurement. Besides working substance feeding system should be refined because a Hall type plasma source operating on gas will be added to the existing magnetron.

Then R&D of new vacuum-plasma technology of simultaneous coating formation using magnetron and the Hall plasma source in the modernized vacuum facility will become possible.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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