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Simply better surfaces

Advanced coating materials and surface treatment technologies from Millidyne can handle everything from keeping trains cleaner for longer to enhancing the hygiene of surfaces in hospitals and swimming pools – all thanks to the unique combinations of properties they offer.

Surfaces featuring Millidyne’s multifunctional coatings and nanocomposites can incorporate a variety of properties, such as enhanced mechanical durability, hydrophobicity or oleophobicity, and corrosion resistance, as well as special optical, decorative, and electrical features. Additional options are provided by inorganic-organic nanocomposites and self-organising nanostructures.

These unique sets of properties – which are impossible to achieve with conventional materials or surface treatment techniques – are largely based on Milidyne’s Sol-Gel technology. This wet chemical method produces coatings with a typical thickness of less than 0.5 μm and can be used to dip-coat, spray, spin-coat, or brush-coat components.

VR’s Pendolino trains provide high-speed services between Finland’s major towns and cities. An updated version of the same technology is used in the Allegro high-speed trains that now run between Helsinki and St. Petersburg. Photo: Soile Laaksonen/VR Group
Millidyne’s Avalon® Sol-Gel coatings include easy-clean, anti-microbial and corrosion- and scratch-resistant products for stainless steel and other metals, glass, ceramic, and plastic surfaces for applications in fields such as electronics, construction, pulp & paper, and marine and automotive products.

Multiple benefits

Staining and dirt build-up are lower compared to conventional surfaces and, thanks to the biocide anchored in some Avalon® coatings, they have a long-lasting anti-microbial effect and offer better hygiene with less cleaning and downtime than other surfaces. The reduced cleaning requirement, lower surface friction, and anti-scratch properties associated with Avalon®-coated surfaces can also be useful in these areas.

Hospitals, old people’s homes, schools, kindergartens, swimming pools, and buses, trains, and trams can all benefit from the antibacterial properties Avalon® coatings offer.

Avalon® 22, for example, is ideal for locations needing an easy-clean antimicrobial surface, and Avalon® 25 for glass and ceramic surfaces, while Avalon® Ocean provides a low-friction antifouling treatment for boats and ships that can reduce a hull’s friction coefficient by as much as 10%.

Customers looking to make use of the advantages of these and other Millidyneproduced coatings and wanting a turnkey delivery need look no further than Millidyne’s affiliate, milliCLEAN, which provides a wide range of services for the public and private sectors.

Trials in 2012 showed that treating trains with Avalon® products offers multiple benefits – in terms of reducing staining, preventing ice and snow from building up during the winter, and making cleaning easier, quicker, and more effective.

Mika Kolari
Millidyne Oy

Jussi Roine & Mika Koskenvuori
Nanotechnology Centre of Expertise in the Helsinki Region

Mauno Harju
Jyväskylä Innovation Ltd.

It’s time for cleaner trains, whatever the weather

One of the latest sectors to get excited about the potential of the cutting-edge products that Millidyne has developed is rail, in the shape of the VR Group.

Icing is a very real problem during the Finnish winter and VR is always on the look-out for new ways of dealing with it. After VR was put in contact with Millidyne and milliCLEAN through the Nanotechnology Cluster Programme and realised the potential that nano coatings offer here, it launched a series of trials in 2012 to test what Avalon® products could achieve on the exteriors and interiors of its InterCity and Pendolino trains.

The exterior trials concentrated on the windows, front windscreens, bodywork, and the front and side skirts of Pendolino trains. One Pendolino bogie was also coated with an Avalon® product to evaluate its potential for reducing the build-up of snow and ice close to the track. Internally, Avalon® 25, 27, and 29 were used in the disabled toilets on an InterCity double-deck sleeping car.

The benefits compared to untreated surfaces were pretty clear. Windows stayed cleaner for significantly longer and staining proved less of a problem than normal; less ice and dirt build-up was encountered; and toilets were not only easier to clean but also stayed cleaner, a big plus for passengers on long journeys.

All in all, the results of the VR trials echoed the benefits that Millidyne coatings are already delivering in industrial, automotive, and marine applications.

Avalon® coatings deliver long-lasting protection and easy-clean surfaces, cutting manpower needs and overall maintenance costs. For optimum performance, coatings should be reapplied every 12 to 24 months.

Making it easier for everyone to access Finnish nano expertise

The Nanotechnology Cluster Programme plays an important part in promoting the growth of nanotechnology-based business and supporting the introduction of nano- and micro-technologies and future materials in Finland. Activities involve eight local Centres of Expertise and cover more than 90% of activities and stakeholders in the fields concerned.

These local Centres of Expertise offer services ranging from partnering and information transfer to project development and promotion of the benefits of nanotechnology in industries such as mechanical engineering, energy, environment, chemicals, living, health and well-being, ICT, and electronics. In addition to serving Finnish companies, the Nanotechnology Cluster Programme also acts as the prime gateway to Finnish nanotechnology expertise for international stakeholders.

Culminatum Innovation is responsible for facilitating the Nanotechnology Centre of Expertise in the Helsinki Region, which is home to more than half of Finland’s nano-related activities and stakeholders. A non-profit development company owned by academia, municipalities, and the business sector, Culminatum runs all the local Centres of Expertise within the Helsinki Region and coordinates three focus areas (nanotechnology, living business, and digibusiness) at national level.

(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)