The SPOT project aims to develop one or more reactive plasma etching processes to realize micro or nano-patterns on austenitic or martensitic stainless steels. By combining intrinsic or chemical surface properties with the physical ones generated by patterning, innovative or improved functionalities will be created to answer to a large range of industrial needs. This improvement implies a strong control of the patterning process and will allow exceeding the limitations of the techniques already available (laser, chemical etching, stamping). To increase the lifetime of the patterns, we will develop duplex processes where a plasma etching step is followed by a plasma-assisted thermochemical treatment. This innovative way will create new families of products to meet specific and very restrictive requirements for mechanical resistance, friction reduction, and lifetime in extreme conditions. The potential market is very important.
The consortium consists in three laboratories and one SME. The Jean Lamour Institute (IJL), coordinator, is a major actor in the international scale for the research in materials processing and treatments. In this laboratory, a team develops some research activities related to metal surface structuring by plasma (thermochemical treatments through patterned masks and physical etching by ion bombardment). The Center of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (C2N) has strong skills in plasma etching, both experimental and theoretical to the understanding of the involved mechanisms. They will be used in the plasma-surface interactions models developed at the Institute of Materials Jean Rouxel (IMN) which is the third academic partner of the SPOT project. In addition, this laboratory has also a well-known experience in the field of physico-chemical characterization of the etched surfaces. Finally, SILSEF SME has significant expertise in surface patterning techniques and means of functional characterization. This company is widely contacted for the development of innovative processes for functionalizing the surfaces of parts in steel.
Finally, the SPOT project aims to demonstrate the industrial feasibility of plasma etching processes on steel parts to functionalize the surfaces. Our ambition is to open new perspectives in a very active and diversified market, in an urgent context to limit raw materials consumption, promote recyclable materials, and improve the lifetime of the existing systems. These objectives clearly relate to the issue of sustainable development and competitiveness of manufactured products. Combined with thermochemical treatments, etching processes will produce patterned metal parts with strengthened and sustainable tribological properties, even in harsh environment. Candidates to substitute parts usually made in noble and non-recyclable material (SiC) or covered with a hard thin coating (DLC, TiN), they will provide an economic and environmental gain.
Monsieur GREGORY MARCOS (Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces))
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
C2N Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies
IJL Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces)
IMN Institut des matériaux de Nantes Jean Rouxel
Help of the ANR 502,997 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: October 2017 - 42 Months