A Spanish technological centre is preparing a project proposal (H2020-EIC-FTI-2018-2020) that aims to develop an innovative nanocoating for fully operative agro-alimentary industrial lines. This nanocoating provides easy-to-clean properties and antimicrobial activity to the surfaces where it is applied. The sought partners should be companies in the fields of production of machinery and equipment for agro-alimentary industries and experts in automation lines of spraying and coating technologies.
A Spanish technological centre is a non-profit, private technological centre with a large trajectory in international cooperation. The centre has coordinated 19 of the total 35 participated European projects from FP6 to Horizon 2020 including LIFE and ECO-Innovation programs. The main R&D fields where the centre develops its activities are nanotechnology, new materials and advanced-environment technologies.
The centre has developed an innovative nanocoating and combines some of the most promising technologies for new-generation coatings in the European industry, including functionalized nanoparticles and sol-gel technologies, among others. The main advantages/characteristics of the proposed nanocoating are:
- Repellent properties: It repels both water and oil, and consequently, aqueous and organic materials. This repellent capacity has been measured through contact angles, which are around 115º for water and 65º for oil.
- Anti-adherent feature: It prevents dirt particles from sticking, making the metallic surface to be easily cleaned. This property has been measured through the European FAN test (facile á nettoyer or easy to clean), in which 7 food stains (egg, lemon juice, olive oil, milk, meat juice, jam and ketchup) are burnt during 30 minutes at 300 ºC. After that, a comparison among a treated and a non-treated surface is carried out, using a code of punctuations depending on how easily each stain is removed from the metallic surface. The coating achieved a score of 28 out of 42 while the stainless steel got a null punctuation.
- There is not migration risk according to the current legislation on materials and objects to be in contact with food in agreement with Directive 2005/31/CE and Regulation 1935/2004.
- High heat shock resistance at 350 ºC: It prevents the metal substrate from yellowing and do not present cracks, deformation or adhesion loss at least during the 30 first cycles.
- Good chemical resistance: It presents good resistance to acids, bases and solvents.
- Good corrosion protection properties: Tests on metals of different nature have been performed with a saline mist concentrated at 5% in weight in order to quantify the protection given by the coating.
- It is a transparent coating that keeps the natural colour of the substrate and its surface structure.
The technology has been successfully proven in relevant environment demonstrating that TRL6 has been already achieved. The centre is looking for partners willing to participate in a project proposal to the call H2020-EIC-FTI-2018-2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI). The project aims to adapt the technology to technical requirements of agro-alimentary production lines and equipment, thus assuring that the main problems on cleaning affecting this sector will be correctly tackled and effectively solved. Optimisation of coating application’s method and yields during industrial-scale application needs to be worked on, in order to achieve a tailored, consistent and replicable method for the final application of the coating in real industrial environments.
The final objective of the project is to offer a new marketable solution for the agro-alimentary sector whose main effects will be easy cleaning and anti-microbiological properties in the food and beverages manufacturing processes where hygiene is a fundamental aspect.
The technological centre is looking for two partners with the following profiles:
- Profile 1: SME/Industry devoted to the design, development, fabrication of parts, automation, start up and/or maintenance of food processing lines.
- Profile 2: SME/Industry with expertise in the automation of coatings application by spraying.
Expression of interest deadline: 1st February 2018
Call deadline: 21st February 2018
Anticipated duration of the project: 24 months.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: - Type and Role of Partner Sought
Profile 1: SME/Industry devoted to the design, development, fabrication of parts, automation, start-up and/or maintenance of food processing equipment and lines.
Profile 2: SME/Industry with expertise in the automation of coatings application by spraying.
-Specific area of activity of the partner:
Food processing engineering/ parts and equipment manufacturers for food-processing.
Coatings application automation (expertise in sprying).
- Task to be performed:
To introduce the coatings into new food-processing parts/equipments.
To develop pilot industrial line for the coating application automation.
- EU / International project experience:
Not compulsory but it will be appreciated.
The innovative coating provides easy-to-clean properties and, when desired, also antimicrobial activity to the surfaces where it is applied, as dirtiness and presence of microorganisms are particularly undesirable in the food and beverages manufacturing processes where hygiene is a fundamental aspect. The application of the proposed solution will allow considerable reductions in the number of shutdowns required for cleaning processes, in the consumption of water, cleaning products and energy and in the risk of microbial growth. Therefore, the suitable application of this coating will give rise to a clear improvement in the cost-effectiveness of the corresponding plants.
Coordinator required: No
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