New steel coatings borne from university-industry partnership leads to academic and commercial success
With a track record of almost a century of working with the metals sector, Swansea University has developed corrosion resistant metallic coatings of such high quality that they are now sold commercially to global corporates such as General Electric, Tata and Tokyo Electric Power, and can be offered with 40 year warranties.
The research has attracted major investment from public and commercial sources, leading to partnerships with industry, chiefly Tata, and collaboration with other academic institutions including Oxford University and Imperial College London.
One of the biggest impacts has been economic: the product innovations which are used in construction, and in devices such as transformers and motors, have supported hundreds of manufacturing jobs and aided a healthy talent flow from university into industry and the metals sector.
Swansea University is also leading on research into low cost photovoltaics on steel, and the concept of ‘Buildings as Powerstations’, which also has major commercial potential.
“Our 40 year corrosion warranties are at the heart of or premium products success…. this comes directly from an understanding of corrosion and photodegradation led by Swansea.” Technology and Innovation Director, Tata