Flexible coating offers protection for heat exchangers

Danish start-up SiOx has been named as runner-up in Climate-KIC’s Venture Competition 2016 for its work on a technology that has enabled flexible glass-on-metal coatings.

The company says it has facilitated the fused quartz coating of metal based on its patented NANOmel Technology. Once applied, the film provides a dense and flexible glass-on-metal coating that protects the metal substrate from corrosion.

SiOx anticipates applications in process environments, including heat exchangers where fouling can reduce energy efficiency, impede fluid flow and increase pressure drop.

Consequently, heat exchangers are over-sized, production lines are shut down for cleaning, and energy consumption increases. The estimated cost of fouling in industrialised countries is 0.25 per cent of GDP. SiOx’s NANOmel silica coating is claimed to reduce fouling by over 50 per cent without reducing the thermal efficiency of the heat exchanger.

Heat exchangers are often operated in aggressive media with titanium used to ensure a long lifetime for the equipment. In one application, the company is participating in a collaborative project using the NANOmel coating on materials such as stainless steel, which is 3-4 times cheaper than titanium plate. By substituting titanium with stainless steel, SiOx’s partner could potentially save €25m annually.

Carbon Delta, a start-up from Switzerland was named overall winner of the European finals of the Venture Competition 2016, held in Frankfurt, Germany this week. The start-up identifies and analyses the climate change resilience of publicly traded companies. They have developed a proprietary evaluation system that helps investors assess climate risks in their portfolios, allowing them to identify how much a company’s value is possibly affected by climate change.

Climate-KIC’s pan-European Venture Competition has been set up to award Europe’s brightest start-ups that help fight climate change. In the European final, 15 start-ups competed for €80,000 in funding during the Climate-KIC Climate Innovation Summit.