Research project NANOKER

Structural Ceramic Nanocomposites for Top-End Functional Applications

Project data

Project management organisation EU/NMP (6th Framework Programme)
Project number NMP3-CT2005-515784
Term 01.05.2005 - 30.04.2009



Many new technological advances are limited by the impossibility to combine high mechanical performances of actually known ceramic materials with critical functional or structural material properties. The objective of this Integrated Project (IP) is to provide and industrialize knowledge-based nanoceramics (<100nm) and nanocomposites (second phases <10 nm) for top-end functional and structural applications that are beyond reach with incremental materials development only. "Nanocomposites" entirely made up ceramic and metallic nanoscale particles or nanoscale phases, denote a broad, new class of engineered materials where unique and otherwise unattainable properties can be revealed. The industrial applications of nanocomposites rely on the successful consolidation of these materials into bulk-sized components while preserving their nanostructures.
Traditional consolidation techniques have strong limitations of not being able to retain the nanoscale grain size. The technological objectives and expected breakthroughs of IP NANOKER consist of:

  • New multifunctional materials with hardness, fracture resistance and fracture toughness properties up to 2-3 times higher than the best state-of-the-art materials that operate in chemical-physically aggressive environments.
  • New multifunctional materials processed into knowledge-based, industrially applicable nanoceramics and nanocomposites with added multifunctionalitv, e.g. biocompatible functions and very long lifetime, optical properties and biocompatibl e functions, tribochemical functions and excellent electrical conductivity, nanocoatings with tribological and barrier functions, etc.

The multi-sectorial and cross-cutting approach of this IP was the only mean to assemble the critical mass needed to break through these roadblocks. Industry being at the lead in terms of highly specialised materials development, excellent basic science institutions and users of knowledge joined together to form the project consortium of the NANOKER project.