Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany

The future of the automobile – new material combinations with light-weight construction and plasma coating

The ever increasing requirements on the efficiency of production processes, on the protection of resources, and on lightweight energy-saving design are all creating challenges to the automotive industry which cannot be met with the traditional sheet metal design any longer. In order to reduce the total weight of the vehicles, many components must be manufactured in modern lightweight design.

The subject of research of the joint project EFFICOAT which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and supported by the project promoter Karlsruhe, is the production of hybrid monocoque components with paintable Class A surfaces of thermoplastic composite structure while saving up to 50% of the resources at the same time.

Current project partners of the joint project EFFICOAT are: The Peguform GmbH, the Anchor Lamina GmbH, the GWK Gesellschaft Wärme Kältetechnik mbH, the KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH, the Plasmatreat GmbH, the Technical University of Chemnitz (Institute for General Mechanical Engineering and Plastics Technology) and the Volkswagen AG.

The approach

Plasmatreat has taken on the task to develop adhesion-promoting coatings for the pretreatment and in-situ embedding of sheet metal inlays such as antennas or sensors. For this purpose the most diverse precursors are applied to the surfaces of different metals by means of plasma polymerization with the aid of the PlasmaPlus® process, and the adhesive strengths are determined by tensile-shear testing after the plastic material is molded.


The initial results already indicate some substrate fracture and thereby impressively demonstrate the high adhesive strength of the PlasmaPlus®-treated components and the great potential of plasma coating at atmospheric pressure. Complete substitution of solvent-based primer systems becomes possible through inline application of a dry-chemical primer coating with the aid of the PlasmaPlus® process.

The results from EFFICOAT can be transferred in full to other components and utilized by companies of the automotive industry and other industrial segments.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany
Joint Project EFFICOAT

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