The alloy forms a base layer that can then be electrolytically painted, which also works even better based on the zinc-iron-manganese-alloy. “It can be activated very well, making paint easy to apply,” says Marco Rösch. At this point, the second patented process under the project name “PLUTO” comes into play. “We use modified graphene here, improving the electrical and corrosion protection qualities,” explains Anders Skalsky.
“Both innovations have enormous potential,” says Patricia Preikschat. “In addition to the health and environmental sustainability properties, the process is also very good when designing electric vehicles, because the added electrical components increase the need for more conductive (and dissipative) layers.” At the same time, the new alloy also better protects the edges of steel parts, because it is more ductile or easier to form than the zinc-nickel alloy. “We have the approvals from Alstom and Scania, and the process is now in the test phase at many other companies.”
Parts coated using the new process are already on the road. They have been installed in a Scania truck model for two years. “We developed a base layer that is interesting for many of our customers and Freudenberg Business Groups, such as Freudenberg Sealing Technologies or Vibracoustic. In many cases it can even replace pure zinc coatings,” says Patricia Preikschat. “The concept will soon be broadly applied, because it is a clever, economical and sustainable alternative to the current alloys.”