The use of surface treatment technologies has steadily grown over the last few years and is still developing with further improvements, being possible through advanced design and technologies, more efficient combustion and high temperature corrosion resistance. Manutech, a technical and scientific centre of excellence on surface functionalisation based in France, strives to establish the Rhône-Alpes region as a site of international reference in surface science and engineering, underpinning the competitiveness of France industry.
Surface engineering in a few words
Surface engineering can be described as a treatment technology designed to modify the surface properties of solid matters in order to achieve optimal designs for specific decorative or functional purposes. It can reduce power consumption as well as effluent output, help creating entirely new products and conserve scare materials through substitution. This is what Manutech does! Established in 2012 within the framework “Investments For the Future” and in partnership with Mines Saint-Etienne, the scientific centre has been concretised by a laboratory of excellence named “Manutech-SISE” and a femtosecond laser Equipex called “Manutech-USD”. Manutech aims to give materials more desirable functions, to enable manufacturers to do things they could not otherwise do before and to advance industrial innovation. Every day, the consortium develops on new surface technologies, materials and applications based on unique competences. It works in strong cooperation with some heavyweight partners in the aeronautic (Airbus, Safran) and automotive industries.
Welcome Pack to drive the creation of innovative solutions
Access to the equipment of excellence Manutech-USD is open to laboratories and industrials, but will not only benefit this segment. Its founders created the Welcome Pack concept to drive the creation of innovative solutions and speed up the commercialisation of surface engineering innovations. Start-ups or established SMEs can test the femtosecond laser on their materials and benefit from the “proof-of-concept” funding to examine whether their idea is potentially feasible and ensure it develops from the planning phase to the implementation phase. The beneficiaries of Welcome Pack include SMEs such as Paturle Aciers, Seaweed Design, Lactips, New Team or Verney-Caron, a firearm manufacturing company based in Saint-Etienne.
Mechanical engineers must be made aware of the potential of surface engineering and advanced technologies in material science. The MSc Tribology and Surface Engineering (TSE) includes this topic and has been demonstrated to be effective in promoting in the field of manufacturing and materials processes.