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Innovnano, an expert manufacturer of high performance ceramic powders, has invested in a high-tech, brand new facility for production of its nanostructured powders, including 3 and 4 mol % yttria stabilised zirconia (YSZ). The new site is based in a dedicated technology park in Coimbra, Portugal, and has been designed to allow high capacity expansion and industrial-scale nanotechnology, enabling the production of up to 1000 tonnes per annum. With the new facility, Innovnano has the capacity and expertise to rapidly up-scale nanostructured powder production, from small quantities needed in R&D phases, to much larger industrial quantities, as and when commercial progression dictates. As such Innovnano can provide support and supply throughout a project life-cycle, negating the need to source alternative suppliers and eliminating any associated risk of product variation. Importantly, this maximises consistency, dependable end-product performance and user-assurance.
At the new facility, Innovnano's unique Emulsion Detonation Synthesis (EDS) technology has been fully automated, and along with stringent quality control processes, ensures Innovnano can produce nanostructured powders with extremely high batch-to-batch consistency. This ensures the ceramic powders are developed to exacting specifications with defined properties, for consistent chemical reliability and robust physical performance, characteristics which are then translated to the end-application - for example more efficient thermal barrier coatings or orthopaedic implants with enhanced fracture toughness. Compared with conventional microstructured ceramics, powders with an intrinsic nanostructure translate to finer, denser and often a more chemically homogenous ceramic material, enabling enhanced end properties such as hardness.
QA protocols include comprehensive QC processes for each batch of powder at several steps throughout the production process, from the raw material to the final product. Industry tests are conducted with tight parameters, to verify that the sample meets the expected high-standard at each stage of processing, and properties such as oxide content, phase and chemical purity, particle size, and mechanical performance, along with many others, are measured.
André de Albuquerque, CEO of Innovnano, commented: "Building this new manufacturing facility was a vital move for us, and now guarantees that we can provide long-term support to all our customers, regardless of the quantities of nanostructured ceramic powders they require. Our patented EDS process lends itself perfectly to industrial-scale production and there is no compromise to the quality or performance of the final product."
Working to lead innovation in nanostructured ceramic powders, Innovnano has established a close network of academic, R&D and commercial institutes globally. This allows Innovnano to gain first-hand insight into the capabilities and constraints of existing materials, in turn enabling Innovnano to challenge these limitations and develop powders that are more optimally suited for purpose.
Innovnano - a subsidiary of CUF, one of the largest chemical companies in Europe - is a specialist manufacturer of industrial scale quantities of high quality nanostructured zirconia-based powders and aluminium zinc oxide sputter coating targets. With a new, purpose-built production centre, built on a modular design, Innovnano can scale-up production to 1000 tpa to meet the rapidly growing demands of industries taking advantage of high performance materials.
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