• The CINN inaugurates a pioneering industrial equipment to manufacture "ultra materials"

    October 28, 2013

    This equipment of great dimensions of the Research Center on Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology will allow for the manufacturing of mirrors for satellites, transparent windows for infrared for planes and plates for armoring

    Rector Vicente Gotor during his intervention at the inauguration this morning.

    The president of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Emilio Lora-Tamayo; the councilor for Economy and Employment of the Principality of Asturias, Graciano Torre, and the Rector of the University of Oviedo, Vicente Gotor, inaugurated today at the municipality of San Martín del Rey Aurelio a new industrail development equipment to manufacture multifunctional nanostructured materials, named "ultra materials".

    The new infrastructure of the Research Center on Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (CINN), a mixed center of the CSIC and the University of Oviedo, is a world-wide pioneer. It will allow, among other many applications, for the construction of ultra-hard components for cutting tools, mirrors for satellites, transparent windows for infrared for countermeasures in planes or plates for armoring.

    During the act, the Rector highlighted the importance of having a cutting-edge equipment that will be used to incentivize the transference of knoweledge towards the enterprise and the industry. In turn, the president of the CSIC remarked that the installation of this equiment in Asturias translates as an important boost for nanomaterial science in Spain. The director of the CINN, Ramón Torrecillas, was in charge of explaining the multiple applications of the system.

    Great sintering furnace

    The newly-inaugurated equipment, which will be used by the scientists from the CSIC for their research, is a sizable sintering furnace: 12 meters high, 6 meters wide and 5 meters deep. The process of sintering consists of the application of a thermal treatment to a powder previously created by the union between adjacent particles of the material, in order to transform it into a dense and durable product.

    The furnace has been specifically designed to obtain dense materials from nanostructured powder through the employment of a hybrid sintering technique that involves discharging plasma and hot pressing, known as SPS/HP (Spark Plasm Sintering/Hot Press).

    The new equipment for the creation of ultra materials is capable of sintering with the SPS/HP technique parts of up to 400 millimeters of diameter with complex forms to be applied in, among others, the aerospatial industry, the automotive industry, electronics and defense. This hybrid SPS/HP sintering equipment is the cornerstone of a wider project, the creation of a Unit of Development of Multifunctional Materials, that will allow researchers to evaluate the viability of the industrialization of these new nanostructured materials and its integration in advanced products.

    The creation of this unit in Asturias is the result from the public-private collaboration between the Research Center on Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (mixed center by the CSIC, the Principality of Asturias and the University of Oviedo) and the enterprises FCT Systeme GmbH, Alusin Tecnología, S.L., Nanoker Research, S.L. and ATSG 98 Instrumentación, S.L.