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    Cold spraying coatings technology takes center stage at Euro 7

    Enhanced Cold-Spraying Capabilities: The Answer to Emissions Regulations and Air Pollution Reduction

    Air quality in major cities has been a longstanding concern, particularly in mature economies. While the latest sustainable electric propulsion vehicles have improved emissions technology, the promise of an emissions-free future is not entirely accurate. A recent study conducted by the LOW environmental impact BRAke SYStem (LOWBRASYS) project reveals that brake wear contributes up to 55% of harmful non-exhaust traffic-related emissions in high-density urban areas. This article explores how enhanced cold-spraying capabilities can help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) meet new particulate emissions regulations cost-effectively.

    Non-Exhaust Emissions: A Growing Concern

    Although vehicle exhaust emissions in Europe have been significantly reduced, non-exhaust emissions from brakes and tires continue to pose environmental and health issues. With an increasing number of vehicles on the road, the emission of tiny but harmful metal particles through brake abrasion has become a dominant source of coarse and fine particulate matter. The UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory estimates that automotive particulates contribute up to 20% of all PM pollution in the air. These particles, known as PM10 and PM2.5, are inhalable and pose severe health hazards, especially for children who are closer to ground-level pollution.

    The Impact on Air Quality and Public Health

    According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), 96% of the urban population in Europe is exposed to fine particulate matter levels above the health-based guideline set by the World Health Organization. This exposure has resulted in 238,000 premature deaths in the EU. The health risks associated with these minuscule airborne particles are well-documented, as they can penetrate deep into the human lungs. The concentration of these particles near ground level further increases the risk to human health.

    Addressing Brake Emissions: Next-Generation Brake Coatings

    While the European Parliament has delayed stricter Euro 7 emissions standards until 2030, the focus on non-exhaust emissions remains. Emissions Analytics, an independent testing company, found that the amount of particulate emissions is directly related to the vehicle’s mass and propulsion torque. Electric vehicles, despite their promise of cleaner emissions, are not exempt from this issue. Currently, ceramic brake pads are considered to create less toxic brake dust compared to metallic ones. However, they are not widely used in consumer cars due to their inefficiency until warmed up. An alternative solution involves coating brake discs with a metal alloy and ceramic powder combination. This corrosion-resistant material combination reduces resistance and provides increased efficiency.

    Thermal Management in Electric Vehicles: Heat Sink Advancements

    As electric vehicles become more powerful and incorporate larger batteries, effective thermal management systems are crucial. Heat sinks, which transfer heat from the engine to the external environment, have traditionally been made of pure copper or pure aluminum. However, hybrid models made of copper and aluminum now offer better performance. Cold spraying, a material deposition technique, allows for the spraying of a copper coating onto an aluminum substrate. This combination provides improved heat conductivity and heat transfer, as well as increased range and durability.

    The Role of Next-Generation Cold Spraying

    Cold spraying is a technique that involves propelling tiny metal particles onto a substrate using high-pressure gases. These particles remain solid during the process, retaining their unique properties and oxidation resistance. However, successful cold spraying requires stable and reliable gas flow, supplied at specific temperatures. The Linspray Connect system, developed by Linde and Impact Innovations, ensures the delivery of a reliable and high-quality gas flow, minimizing variations. This innovative system enables automotive manufacturers to monitor and control the process parameters, resulting in a uniform and high-quality coating.

    Meeting Emissions Regulations and Reducing Air Pollution

    Enhanced cold-spraying capabilities not only allow automotive manufacturers to meet new particulate emissions regulations cost-effectively but also improve brake corrosion resistance. This provides OEMs with a competitive advantage while contributing to air pollution reduction. Electric vehicle drivers can have confidence in their choice, knowing that their vehicles can significantly reduce air pollution and offer greater driving range with less maintenance.

    In conclusion, the application of enhanced cold-spraying capabilities in automotive manufacturing offers a promising solution to address emissions regulations and reduce air pollution. By focusing on brake emissions and thermal management in electric vehicles, OEMs can achieve cost-effective compliance with stricter regulations while improving environmental sustainability. Through advancements in cold-spraying technology, the vision of a cleaner and healthier future on the roads becomes attainable.

    Authors:

    Werner Krömmer – Business Development, Manufacturing Industry, Linde Technologies

    Paolo Kirchpfening – Global Commercialisation Manager, Linde Technologies

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