The focus of the newly founded "RUBIG Technology", or RTG for short, is the development and testing of new technologies; especially systems and processes for surface treatment, heat treatment, and manufacturing technology. The medium-term objective is for RUBIG to be able to offer new solutions for wear and corrosion protection, as well as increase the durability of components. Future application areas such as surface technologies for power electronics, hydrogen production, storage and conversion of hydrogen into electricity or medical properties are also focus areas for RTG.
The applications for these technologies are as diverse as the customers. There is a special focus on laser technology for creating functional surfaces and PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). These special processes are provided or delivered at RUBIG both in series production and via customer-specific furnace systems. Other future topics that RTG is working on include developments in the area of electrolysis and fuel cells for the production of green hydrogen, as well as coatings using graphenes.
RUBIG Technology, as a strategic development unit of the RUBIG Group, is the driver and catalyst for the technology lead and innovative heart of the company. Today, however, research is only conceivable within an internationally networked research landscape. Successful research requires cooperation. RUBIG relies on close international cooperation with universities, research institutes, and companies.
The RUBIG laser machining centre provides various metal machining processes, while guaranteeing the wear-resistance of tools and moulds. This technology also allows for 3D laser cutting with dynamic cutting optics, as well as laser hardening, laser welding, and laser deposition welding.
During Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD), the atoms and atomic clusters are stripped from a (usually) metallic target under high vacuum conditions, so called sputtering. The resulting metal vapour condenses to a solid metallic layer, directly on the part to be coated. Both the coating system and thickness can be defined based on specific customer requirements.
A team of dedicated researchers from the University of Birmingham teamed up to develop an innovative coating solution which binds antimicrobial actives on metal and plastic surfaces. At RUBIG, the NitroPep coating process will be applied through our RUBIG units. The advantages of this coating are the destruction of pathogens through physical means and the effectiveness on antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Surfaces like door handles or handrails in high-traffic public places could be free of bacteria and germs, thanks to NitroPep. The treated surface reacts directly with the cell wall of the bacteria and destroys it, preventing further spread. The process is five times more effective than existing technologies using silver or copper.
Hydrogen will play a significant role in transport and the storage of renewable energy within a sustainable society. This is why governments around the world are focusing on the development of efficient technical processes for the production of hydrogen, as well as fuel cells. In the future, producing hydrogen with the aid of these energy sources will be the most effective method.
RUBIG brings its 75 years of experience in metal processing to this area. Their expert knowledge in the field of surface technology ensures optimum wear-resistance of individual components, such as condensers. RUBIG is also able to positively influence the service life.
This concerns wear-protection and surface treatment for aluminium, titanium, and magnesium-based alloys. This process is also known as “anodic spark oxidation” (ASO). The material to be coated is submerged in an electrolyte bath. In the next step an atmospheric plasma then causes ignition. This process causes localised melting of the surface, creating a dense oxide layer through the presence of elemental oxygen.
Plasma electrolytic oxidation layers consist primarily of dielectric, oxide-ceramic phases and are therefore superior to organic coatings in terms of hardness and thermal resistance. The result is a very thick (more than 100 micron), wear-resistant layer with good adhesion. Cost-effectiveness can be improved through reduced process times and improved layer properties also. The good environmental compatibility of the process media used is also an advantage.
Graphene is the name given to a special structure of carbon. Carbon can also take the form of graphite or diamond. When viewed in terms of atomic lattice structure, graphite has flat hexagonal layers, which slide over each other easily. This makes graphite an excellent lubricant. However, when graphite is only present as a single atomic layer, we talk about graphene.
Graphene has very good properties in terms of strength, wear, and corrosion resistance. However, this thin layer, with only one, or just a few layers of atoms, is confronted with challenges when it comes to conventional steel surfaces. In Laboratory scale these kinds of layers can be produced easily also in large areas. RTG, together with Shanghai University, TU Vienna and CEST, is focusing on how these layers behave on conventional surfaces (case-hardened, nitrided, or vacuum-hardened).