Intelligent engineering coatings for in-manufacture and in-service monitoring of critical safety products

Project Details


Coatings are key to the performance of most manufactured products and they contribute to sustainability by enhancing the efficiency and extending the life of the products that they protect, as well as by enabling the reduced use of scarce bulk materials. Coatings are a vital part of the nation's manufacturing industry, contributing to many sectors, including aerospace, energy, automotive, construction and healthcare. However, until now the UK coatings industry has been lagging behind compared to High Value Manufacturing sectors in terms of design, development, manufacture, and implementation into products, particularly in terms of the degree of digitalisation achieved.

This project will develop intelligent coatings with new functionalities that can self-monitor during manufacture and in-service. The multidisciplinary team will use a suite of modelling tools, sensing technologies and experimental deposition and characterisation facilities at The University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, Cranfield University, Queen's University Belfast and Swansea University to embed new sensor functionalities within coatings, using a variety of deposition processes.

This EPSRC Exploratory Stream project will be a key step to address the challenges of digitalisation in the UK coatings manufacturing sector. The proposed research will assist UK PLC to develop manufacturing methods which are predictable, digital-enabled and more productive, providing a pathway to world-leading coating manufacturing processes. The research will support the coatings manufacturing industry to achieve best-in-class levels of High Value Manufacturing.
Effective start/end date1/08/2031/07/25

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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