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Granta’s MI software helps product designers, materials and process experts, and environmental, health and safety professionals to make decisions on coatings and surface treatment.

New capabilities for the system, developed in collaboration with Rowan Technology Group, focus on the complex compliance, regulatory and risk factors relating to restricted substances.

Coatings are critical in many engineering applications, enabling designers to control mechanical, electrical, thermal and other properties, as well as the look and feel of a product.

But coatings add complexity to design decisions.

How do designers not only choose a coating that meets functional and cost requirements, but also avoid problems with manufacture, supply or restricted substance regulations, such as the EU’s REACH? Rowan Technology Group has helped Granta to compile the Coatings Data Module – a dataset that can be added to corporate materials databases stored in the Granta MI system.

Granta MI provides browser-based tools to search, browse and use this data.

The data module covers over 100 coatings of types including: anodising, corrosion inhibitor, conversion, CVD, electro/electroless plate, heat treat, primer, PVD, topcoat and thermal spray.

Traditional coatings such as cadmium plate with chromate-conversion are included, as well as new and alternative coatings such as aluminum and low-hydrogen embrittlement zinc-nickel, with trivalent and non-chrome sealers.

Each coating is described in a well-referenced record detailing over 60 technical, restricted substance, substitution and cost properties.

Within Granta MI, this data can be integrated with an existing database of over 6,000 restricted substances and 60 regulations, legislations and industry standards that impact these substances.

Related substances, materials, coatings, legislations and company material and process specifications are linked.

Granta MI reporting tools then make it easy to answer questions such as: what is the impact on my parts and processes of the restrictions on Hexavalent Chromium or REACH candidate list substances?; are any of the coatings that I use affected by legislative requirements in other countries?; what is the risk that this coating may be subject to future restrictions?; which substitute has the lowest risk of regulation in the future?; and what are the trade-offs among substitutes for Cadmium plating? Granta MI thus supports strategic decision making on coatings.

For example, it helps to design new parts with coatings that will not require substitution during the part’s production lifecycle.

This will avoid part non compliance and/or stock redundancy issues.

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