Shooting turbine blades with elastomer projectiles for longer lifetime

The erosion occuring when raindrops hit the front / leading edge of turbine blades is one of the most critical degradation mechanisms on wind turbine blades. If the number of on-site repairs could be reduced, the resulting savings would be immense.

To develop new and better turbine blade coatings, tools for measuring of the performance are required. A novel accelerated erosion test method, a so-called Single Point Impact Fatigue Tester (SPIFT), is successfully developed during a Materials Fast Track project as a part of the on-going PhD-project by Nicolai Frost-Jensen Johansen from DTU in collaboration with Siemens Gamesa and Hempel.

Existing rain erosion tools can simulate the effect of many water droplets hitting the leading edge. However, no tools exist that can generate droplets hitting a single point. Without the ability to impact a single point, it is not possible to understand the interaction between a droplet and the protective coating, and how it leads to erosion.

Since it is not possible to accelerate individual droplets of water to a specific target, the idea was formulated to substitute droplets with solid elastomer projectiles of comparable size, speed, and density to that of rain, and shoot these towards a stationary target. This idea led to the construction of the SPIFT (Single Point Impact Fatigue Tester).

With the SPIFT, the actual damages can now be compared to analytical and numerical simulations, and as a result of this critical material parameters can be isolated. Consequently, new coatings are now being developed based on a stronger imperial and analytical foundation made possible by the SPIFT.

Are you interested in learning more about the SPIFT and how Fast Track can be used as a catalyst for progress in technology developments, please contact us here:

Fit-for-service assessment of large ductile cast iron components by fracture mechanics

Siemens Gamesa employs ultrasound testing to ensure that the components of its wind turbines are completely reliable. There are certain challenges that arise in conducting inspections of larger components, which are typically made of ductile cast iron – a material with excellent toughness-to-price ratio. With ductile cast iron, it is important to test for porosity defects but also to assess whether the porosity detected is large enough to be significant. To optimize current assessment methods and exploit the full potential of advanced ultrasound testing, Siemens Gamesa’s Technology team has joined forces with fracture mechanics experts from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in the Fast Track project – an initiative supported by Innovation Fund Denmark.

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Large components – significant cost savings

Optimizing production costs is one of the main drivers of increased competitiveness in the wind energy sector. With wind turbines increasing in size, large components are becoming even larger. This is certainly the case for large ductile cast iron components such as the rotor hub, the main shaft, and often the nacelle itself. They are expensive to produce, and very expensive to replace if they are disqualified in an inspection. When it comes to components with a mass of 50 tons or more, accepting or disqualifying one single part carries an associated cost equal to that of a mid-size car. On the other hand, the structural integrity of these load-bearing parts is essential for the safe operation of the wind turbine, so a detailed quality assessment of each component is an absolute necessity.

New ultrasound testing technology – new opportunities

Traditional ultrasound testing technology is a non-destructive technique useful for detecting the presence of porosity defects in metallic components, but it provides only very limited information about the exact location and size of detected porosities. Because of this limitation, Siemens Gamesa’s Technology team implemented phased array ultrasound testing (PAUT). This alternative method can detect any existing porosity and estimate its size and exact location more accurately and efficiently than traditional testing. There remained one weakness, however. The new system can identify even small defects, but these need to be properly assessed to determine if they are large enough to pose a real risk to the component’s integrity. Because if they do not, the component need not be disqualified.

The Fast Track Project: an easy access to the right experts

Looking for answers, Siemens Gamesa’s Technology team turned to a team of fracture mechanics experts from DTU Mechanical Engineering. They joined forces to use the framework of the Fast Track project to improve current assessment methods and exploit the full potential of advanced ultrasound testing. This close collaboration also included DNV GL, a global quality assurance and risk management company, to ensure that the developed solution would comply with certified expectations and practices.

Assessing components with fracture mechanics simulations

The team began by identifying several benchmark scenarios that accomplish the project goal. They also designed the right software tools and methods for assessing any ultrasonically observable porosities in sufficient detail. At all times, the project emphasized a balance of theory and practice, to ensure an accurate and practical assessment that can be implemented by the industry and also received well by certification entities. Additionally, the project tackled a range of important questions. For example:

  • How can detected porosities be simplified in shape so as to be represented in a simulation?

  • How are loads applied?

  • Which fracture mechanical parameters should be used?

  • How can conservatism be ensured in the assessment?

Apart from identifying appropriate software and theoretical methods, the Fast track workflow developed by the team demonstrates an efficient analysis scenario specific to large ductile cast iron components of the type that Siemens Gamesa engineers need to assess. The Fast Track project has yielded numerous benefits, not the least of which is the fact that Siemens Gamesa and DTU have mutually expanded their knowledge and skills through effective collaboration.

Figure 1 shows the developed workflow when reviewing defects from UT scans

Figure 1 shows the developed workflow when reviewing defects from UT scans


About Fast track

The Fast Track project is based on a systematic model for partnering between enterprises like Siemens Gamesa, Hempel, Terma, Elplatek, FORCE Technology, and knowledge institutions such as DTU, Aalborg University, and Teknologisk Institut. The project’s philosophy is simple: putting the right people across technology fields together to allow for effective solutions within material engineering. 

The Fast Track project supports a range of material research and development initiatives by providing companies across Denmark with research assistance and equipment. A dedicated team of experts ensures implementable solutions, developed on a fast track timeline of less than six months. The project’s goal is to raise awareness of advanced equipment facilities in Denmark, promote industry competitiveness, and create more jobs related to advanced material processing in the country.

Watching Paint Solidify

Paint both protect and provide a new aesthetic impression. Paint is applied to many different surfaces (technically called substrates) like structures such as ships, bridges, buildings, vehicles, and oil & gas. The paint on the steel substrate and paint film is the main focus of the present investigation.

Imagine a liquid paint applied on a steel substrate like ship or oil and gas structure. The chemical curing and physical drying of a liquid paint are relatively fast on the surface-air interface as compared to the underneath layers. A skin layer develops as the processes of curing and drying proceed and a number of changes happen in the freshly applied paint. The main changes are; development of cohesive and adhesive forces, decrease in the paint film thickness, increase in modulus (stiffness), glass transition temperature (Tg) and ultimately when a network is formed the volume changes and give rise to an internal stress. The magnitude of the internal stress in the paint film gradually increases and with time reaches its maximum value depending on the degree of cure and the amount of retained solvents. The temperature of the environment along with humidity plays a critical role in defining the Tg and modulus of the paint film that is directly associated with the internal stress. Therefore, it is important to investigate Tg, modulus and internal stress at the same time and at different temperatures.

Figure 1) A part of DMA setup

Figure 1) A part of DMA setup

Figure 2) A part of the tensile stress setup

Figure 2) A part of the tensile stress setup

A team headed by Senior Chemist Saif Ullah at Hempel is investigating glass transition temperature (Tg), modulus (stiffness), the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and tensile stress at Aalborg University’s lab facility (Figure 1 and 2) with the help of Professor Jesper de Claville Christiansen and his team. This research work is part of the Fast Track Consortium and funded by Innovation Fund Denmark.   

The overall aim of the project is to get a better understanding of what happens in the curing process of the paint film applied on the steel substrate and to develop fast screening methods that will enable us to save development time and produce tough and resilient paint.

Electroplating of Fe-C coatings as an alternative to hard chrome coatings

- PhD project, collaboration between 1) Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2) OCAS NV, ArcelorMittal Global R&D Gent (Belgium), 3) a. h. nichro Haardchrom (Denmark) and 4) Fast Track - Materials Solutions (Denmark).

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Strong concerns about the harmful effects of selected chemicals on humans and eco‐systems have resulted in chromium trioxide being on the list of substances included in Annex XIV of REACH ("Authorisation List"). The ban has huge consequences for the traditional hard chrome plating as the predominant current process to produce hard and wear resistant coatings for the aerospace, automotive, drilling and military industries.

Already in 2014, the need of environmental friendly alternatives to hard chrome encouraged the Danish hard chrome plater a. h. nichro Haardchrom, in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and with financial support by the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, to investigate the potential of novel types of coatings. Without compromising for neither the excellent coating properties nor the ease of a straightforward deposition technology, electroplating of iron-carbon coatings revealed promising results and a PhD project on surface engineering of Fe-C coatings was started in 2017. The project is a collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark and the companies a. h. nichro Haardchrom (Denmark) and OCAS NV, ArcelorMittal Global R&D Gent (Belgium) and it is further supported by the societal partnership; Fast Track - Materials Solutions (Denmark).

Electroplating setup - by Jacob Obitsø Nielsen

Electroplating setup - by Jacob Obitsø Nielsen



Although electroplating of iron has been developed a century ago, it has mainly been used for localized reparation of worn surfaces and its full exploration and application as a cheap, non-toxic, versatile plating process with a huge potential for engineering the microstructure and associated properties of the Fe-C coatings is now addressed in the project. With systematic lab-scale experiments, the plating process is optimized and challenges of upscaling for final implementation into industrial processing are tackled. These imply, for example, the risk of oxidation of Fe2+ to Fe3+ in the electrolyte, which even in case of low concentrations of Fe3+ will reduce the current efficiency and cause the coating to become brittle, stressed and pitted. After two years of development, a proof-of-concept has been established for an innovative process being able to handle the oxidation without chemical adjustment and being able to produce hard Fe-C coatings with similar wear resistance as hard chrome. Thorough microstructure characterization using state-of-the-art and complementary characterization techniques reveals the internal structure of the Fe-C coatings and enables understanding of its growth as a prerequisite for further tailoring of the plating process and, hence, the coating properties. As a next step towards successful implementation into industrial processing for large-scale synthesis of the hard and wear resistant surfaces, the Fe-C coatings will be tested on pilot-scale under surface lubrication, being typical for bearings or gears. While lubrication straightforwardly handles the main concern for the Fe-C coatings, its low corrosion resistance compared to hard chrome, further development and dedicated plating solutions are considered to solve the corrosion issue and, thus, widen the applicability of the Fe-C coatings while maintaining the mindset of a feasible and environmentally friendly process. The combined strengths of the stakeholders allows to act on specific needs from the industrial partners and brainstorm about possible solutions with experts from both academia and industry.

Netværksdag i materiale innovationens tegn

Anderledes måder og metoder at skabe innovation i virksomheder på tværs af faggrupper var et populært tema ved årets netværksdag for Fast Track-netværket, der inkluderede et ekspertpanel med nogle af verdens dygtigste materialeeksperter.

- Af Thore Dam Mortensen

Branchefolk fra både toneangivende større virksomheder i den danske industri, ambitiøse underleverandører og nysgerrige Start-Ups deltog i starten af september i årets store Fast Track-arrangement om innovative, men også praktiske måder at løse konkrete overflade- og materialeproblemer på. Organisationen bag det Innovationsfonden-støttede samfundspartnerskabsprojekt Fast Track, der blev søsat forrige år med 35 millioner kroner i støtte, havde i år valgt Teknologisk Institut i Taastrups hovedbygning som scene. Her kunne de fremmødte så opleve en række danske såvel som udenlandske forskere og industrieksperter gå i dybden med innovative måder at angribe konkrete problemstillinger på i industrien. I netværket er det således ambitionen, at medlemmerne hjælper hinanden, eksempelvis når en maskine går i stykker i produktionen, eller når der skønnes behov for helt nye materialeteknologiske løsninger på problemer.

Arrangører og medlemmer af Fast Track Project Management Teamet, Lars Pleth Nielsen og Kasper Bondo Hansen, var godt tilfredse med dagens fremmøde på lidt over 60 fagfolk.

Arrangører og medlemmer af Fast Track Project Management Teamet, Lars Pleth Nielsen og Kasper Bondo Hansen, var godt tilfredse med dagens fremmøde på lidt over 60 fagfolk.

Et af de indlæg, der på dagen mødte størst spørgelyst fra deltagerne, kom fra Steen Lauridsen fra Terma. Han fortalte om virksomhedens succes med at holde særlige workshops med henblik på at skabe nye ideer og inspiration i organisationen. For virksomheden har det vist sig at være en stor succes at få en række eksterne fagfolk fra Fast Track-netværket på besøg for at give deres besyv med i en kreativ skabelsesproces, hvor ud fra kommende input kan være med til at ændre mønstre og tankegange, konstaterede Steen Lauridsen. De første oplæg på dagen gav arrangementet et internationalt snit. Først var Solution Sales Lead, Tuomas Pinomaa, efterfulgt af Senior Scientist, Tomi Suhonen. Begge er ansat ved Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT , der er den finske pendant til Teknologisk Institut, TI, i Danmark, og som TI har en samarbejdsaftale med. Sidstnævnte fortalte om Process-Structure-Properties- Performance, PSPP, paradigmet, der er på vej til at blive en hjørnesten inden for computerbaseret materialeudvikling, ICME. I den forbindelse præsenterede han en række vellykkede casestudier med resultater fra implementeringen af et egenudviklet Multiscale Materials Modeling Toolset til design af forskellige materialeløsninger målrettet en række specifikke industrielle applikationer. Blandt VTT's kunder er i dag førende industrivirksomheder som Sandvik Coromant, EOS, Caterpillar og ArcelorMittal, fremhævede Tomi Suhonen.


Fra Force Technology gav Teamleader, Trine Nybo Lomholt, et indblik i arbejdet med at standardisere korrosionsbeskyttelsestiltag i forbindelse med en række projekter, der omhandler blandt andet fremstillingen af fundamenter til offshorevindmøller. Hun opfordrede de fremmødte til at byde ind med ideer til løsninger af problemer i de forskellige projekter. For der er stadig rigtig mange problematikker, der skal undersøges og løses med henblik på at gøre den grønne energiteknologi billigere og derved mere konkurrencedygtig i forhold til eksempelvis fossile brændstoffer, understregede hun.

Som afslutning på de fælles plenumoplæg gav leder af Teknologsk Instituts Tribologicenter, Lars Pleth Nielsen, tilhørerne en udførlig introduktion til bogen ’Advanced Surface Technology’, som han har skrevet sammen med DTU-professor, Per Møller. I bogen understreger de to verdenskendte brancheeksperter, at det er nødvendigt at have et overblik over mulige overfladebehandlingsmetoder for at kunne vælge den mest optimale løsning til en given materialeteknologisk problemstilling. Herudover gav han sit syn på en række andre velkendte overfladebehandlingsprocesser og -materialer.

On the Fast Track: Leading Edge Protection of wind turbine blades

Offshore power production is developing at full speed – and when bigger equals better, an increased rotor blade length is a winner. However, the industry’s demand for longer wind turbine blades creates significant challenges for safeguarding them in harsh weather conditions. Siemens Gamesa’s Surface Treatment and Corrosion team has joined several industry experts in the Fast track project – an initiative supported by Innovation Fund Denmark – to improve material competences, develop cutting-edge protective coating solutions, save maintenance costs, and extend the lifetime of wind turbine blades. 


A high-speed challenge

The global importance of wind power has led to greater demands for green energy production over the past few years. Constant innovation and improved power generation efficiency are reflected in wind turbine designs that feature an increase in size and rotor blade length – especially for offshore wind. 

Turbine size increase.jpg


Longer blades have higher tip velocity, which often exceeds 350 km/h out at sea. Strong offshore winds accelerate water drops and particles that meet the leading edge of the wind turbine blade in extremely high speed. This mechanical impact results in severe material degradation over time - harsh weather conditions cause coating surface erosion, which lowers the turbine’s annual energy production. Erosion is one of the most critical degradation mechanisms occurring on wind turbine blades, as it requires non-operational downtime due to costly on-site repair work. 

Coating systems are the central factor for protecting the blade from erosion. Today’s solution consists of glass fibre reinforced epoxy (GFRE) protected by a paint system, but it degrades rapidly within two to seven years of the turbine’s operation. Hence, the industry is looking for new ideas to improve leading edge protection (LEP) that can both withstand physical impact and protect the blade coating in the long run.  

The Fast Track Project: an easy access to the right experts

Given the industry’s need for solutions to material challenges, the Fast Track project created a systematic model for partnering between several enterprises; Siemens Gamesa, Hempel, Terma, Elplatek, FORCE Technology, and the knowledge institutions; DTU, Aalborg University, and Teknologisk Institut. The project’s philosophy is simple: putting the right people across technology fields together to allow for effective solutions within material engineering. 

The Fast Track project supports a range of material research and development initiatives by providing companies across Denmark with research assistance and equipment. A dedicated team of experts ensures implementable solutions, developed on a fast track timeline of less than six months. The project’s goal is to raise awareness of advanced equipment facilities in Denmark, promote industry competitiveness, and create more jobs related to advanced material processing in the country. The Fast Track project kicked off in 2016 and is expected to finalize in the summer of 2019, covering several different material research sub projects.  

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Improvements on the way

One of the subprojects supported by Fast Track is Siemens Gamesa’s partnership with FORCE Technology, Hempel, DTU, and Aalborg University, focused on a deeper understanding of LEP for wind turbine blades. The subproject’s goal is to investigate material properties and erosion mechanisms through novel characterization methods, combining analysis of failure modes with real-life experience, accelerated testing, and lifetime modelling.

Kasper Bondo Hansen, Head of Surface Treatment and Corrosion, explains: “With this project, we would like to free ourselves from conventional thinking and be open to innovative ideas. Rethinking today’s possibilities from a materials and processing point of view would allow us to set new standards and, if possible, redefine the concept of leading edge protection. We know that the next generation of blades will inherently possess better properties, so promoting a competitive material process environment across the wind power industry is a stepping stone for future innovation – something that Siemens Gamesa will embrace and lead.“ 

“Our Surface Treatment and Corrosion team is currently working on the task to collaboratively develop a new standard corrosion protection for offshore and subsea components,” says Ane Saelland Christiansen, Specialist Engineer, Surface Treatment and Corrosion. “Hopefully, Fast Track deliverables will be successfully incorporated into new product coating processes. We would also like to establish standardization and certification for more suitable product and process specifications, new methods of assessing adhesion strength, and setting up a new competitive long-term LEP solution in place. We are all very excited to keep you posted about our Fast Track progress. It will definitely make a difference, so stay tuned!” 

Tribology of coated surfaces

The joint network meeting the 4th of September will feature a talk from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland by Helena Ronkainen on the subject: 

Tribology of coated surfaces

Coatings are widely used to reduce friction and wear of components in modern engineering applications. In order to evaluate the tribological performance of coated surfaces tribological model tests or application oriented tests can be carried out. Tribological testing allows to compare different coatings, and enables to specificy e.g. the requirements for the surface finish to provide optimal performance for the application. For example, surface roughness has an effect on the contact conditions and contact pressures generated in sliding or rolling contacts and thus influence the performance of coated surface. In this presentation, the principles of tribological evaluation are presented, and as an example, the influence of surface roughness on coating performance will be reviewed based on experimental and modelling results.


Joint Network Meeting 4th of September - Unification of Corrosion Protection - Collaboration in Partnerships

At the joint network meeting the 4th of September we will have the pleasure to get inspired by Trine Nybo Lomholt from FORCE Technology with a presentation on: 

Unification of Corrosion Protection for Offshore Wind Farms - Collaboration in Partnerships


The offshore wind energy industry is focused on reducing the total cost of energy. Industrialized production and standardization are considered increasingly important elements in this pursuit. Cooperation across the industry is a useful tool to succeed on these tasks.

This talk will present a range of projects carried out by more than one partner in the form of Joint Industry Projects (JIPs). The subjects are corrosion protection of monopiles, manufacturing of industrialized jackets, work on more accurate cathodic protection guidelines and standardization and verification of new design curves for welded substructures. Some of these elements account for a large share of the investment and maintenance costs as regards offshore wind energy. The hope is that, ultimately, an as accurate data basis as possible combined with experience and knowledge will lead to more standardized structures and hence reduction of cost. But to be more successful, more cooperation is needed.

Joint Network Meeting 4th of September - Fast Track as the catalyst for push-pull innovation

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Date for the event: 4th of September 2018

At the upcoming joint network meeting one of the talks will be presented by Steen Lauridsen from TERMA on the subject:

Fast Track as the catalyst for push-pull innovation. 

When organizational and cultural barriers invisibly hinders or slows development and innovation, one must rely on other means to be successful.
Holding workshops and meetings with partners within the Fast Track network has helped Terma maturing ideas and improve development models much faster, than we would be able to without the network.
This presentation will contain examples of the applied innovation methods and their outcome.

The joint network meeting - systematic work flow of failure analysis

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Date for the event: 4th of September 2018

At the upcoming joint network meeting one of the talks will be presented by Carsten Jensen and Mikkel Østergaard Hansen from FORCE Technology on the subject:

Physical Failure Analysis – Why and how? – Challenging cases of failure analysis.  


Every day, a larger number of components fail in production or service, failures that often have a large economic and/or safety impact. Thus, there is a large incentive to preventing failures and, in that way, improve product and process reliability, safety and lastly but not least economy.
Prevention of failures are most often related to former experiences extracted from earlier failure analyses. However, failure analyses are often very complex and multi technical. Therefore, failure analysis is most successful when performed following a systematic work flow and conducted by experienced personnel with both specialist and broad technical knowledge.
This presentation will focus on this work flow illustrated with case examples. 

Top researches from VTT at the Joint Network Meeting

At the joint network meeting the 4th of Spetember we will have the pleasure to welcome top researchers from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. Tomi Suhonen will in this context give a talk on the subject: 

Computational materials engineering in design of optimal material solutions

The Process-Structure-Properties-Performance (PSPP) paradigm is emerging as one of the cornerstones of implementing integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) for materials R&D needs, such as discovery and development of novel material solutions, optimization and tailoring of product specific materials, and overall troubleshooting materials affiliated problems. We present a case studies employing an in-house developed multiscale materials modeling toolset in design of optimal material solutions for different industrial applications.

Save your spot for the event at:


Joint Network meeting 4th of September - An introduction to applied surface technology


At the joint network meeting the 4th of September we will have the pleasure to get inspired by Lars Pleth Nielsen from Technological Institute with a talk regarding: 

An Introduction to applied surface technology

An overview of the different surface treatments will be given based on the book ”Advanced Surface Technology – A holistic view on the extensive and intertwined world of applied surface engineering” by Per Møller and Lars Pleth Nielsen. Different surface treatments will be exemplified spanning the entire way from electroplating, PVD, anodizing, galvanizing, mechanical plating to paint.

What if we could avoid the spread of bacteria in hospital environments?

Every year 100,000 Danish patients get infected during hospitalization

This is found in a study made by SSI (Statens Serum Institut). Healthcare-associated infections are still one of the major causes of patient morbidity during hospitalization. Environmentally exposed hospital items such as door handles, bed rails and frames can easily harbour bacteria, and hence, be key areas for spreading bacteria. This is a particularly serious issue in intensive care units and in the case of immune-compromised patients. Therefore, self-disinfecting surfaces in healthcare locations receive increasing attention as additional strategies to the standard disinfection practices.

Door handles, in particular, are referred to as “critical contact points,” as door handles are the most frequently touched surface in any healthcare facility.

Especially, self-cleaning door handles are in focus in a cross-industry project between DTU, Elplatek A/S and the Fast Track consortium under the Innovation Fund Denmark. The latter is a societal partnership delivering services within materials engineering and gives access to swift and effective solutions within the field of materials engineering.

The solution is near


The project is led by Elplatek and is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. The antimicrobial coating consisting of an electroplated copper-silver alloy, which can kill bacteria on frequently touched surfaces in hospital environments.

Through the project, it has been proven that especially the alloy of copper and silver is what makes the bacteria-killing process unique.

Both copper and silver alloys are well-known for their antibacterial activity. The combination yields an alloy coating that possesses even high antimicrobial activity due to an electrochemically driven killing mechanism.

Furthermore, electroplating is a low-cost manufacturing process, feasible on large-scale production and allows a regenerative design approach.

After just two hours the coating shows incredible results

The antibacterial efficacy of the copper-silver electroplated coating has been demonstrated according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test method. Results have shown that the coating kills more than 99.9 % of Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterobacter aerogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa already after two hours of exposure to the copper-silver surface.

Improving patient experiences, while saving money

By minimizing the spread of bacteria, in this case via door handles, we can avoid a huge part of the spread of bacteria in hospital facilities. This minimization will probably be able to save thousands of patients for uncomfortable and risky infections and eventually save enormous amounts of time and money.                                   

Fast Track is proud to be a partner in this present copper-silver project. Go to our website to learn more about our other projects.



Result of Fast Track Project: Corrosion Protection of Monopile Structures

Unexpected internal corrosion in monopile foundations calls for a need for revised future corrosion protection strategies in the offshore wind energy business. A literature study was carried out and recommendations for future corrosion protection of monopiles were discussed with interested parties and attempts to obtain consensus on future corrosion protection strategies were initiated.

Visible corrosion of ladder, image courtesey of FORCE Technology


Historically, internal corrosion in monopile foundations has led to unexpected costs in relation to retrofits and repairs. Years ago, it was a common belief internal corrosion would never be an issue to consider as the monopile was assumed to be a sealed compartment. However, several monopiles have been inspected since and unexpected corrosion rates have occasionally been observed.

Coating the inside of an existing monopiles is not realistic and the second-best solution is to retrofit CP, either GACP or ICCP. However, offshore repair is always very expensive and should be avoided on future offshore structures.


By understanding the malfunctions of previous internal corrosion protection of monopile foundations we believe discussions with contractors in the wind energy business may lead to a consensus in selecting a strategy with a high potential for industrialized mass production and a low risk for failure. Hence cost will decrease and we shall be able to maintain Danish competitiveness and secure jobs in offshore wind energy.


The aim of the fast-track was therefore; a) to review and extract learning’s on monopile corrosion protection in order to avoid any mistakes in the future and; b) to give more recommendations for future corrosion protection of monopiles and; c) to discuss the recommen-dations with other interested parties in the industry – also outside the societal partnership.

Main findings

The literature available today suggests that it is difficult to maintain an oxygen starved compartment of the size of a monopile. Recent guidelines even advise caution against using this approach.

Recommendations on new corrosion protection strategies were therefore given.


It was found that it is difficult to come up with a universally applicable solution for all monopile foundations. However, this investigation opened for discussions with contractors in the wind energy business attempting to obtain consensus on future corrosion protection strategies thus eliminating repetition of previous mistakes.


It It is our view that overall recommendations for future foundations should be focused on either an optimized fully closed structure or fully open structures. A redesigned closed foundation includes removal of problematic components such as inspection hatches, grout connections and seals. The recommendations on open monopiles include coating and CP system internally as well as externally.


Fast Track expert panel member, Per Møller, receives prestigious award

Professor Per Møller, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark was awarded the prestigious ”William Blum’s Scientific Achievement Award” on June 20th, 2017. The coveted prize within surface technology research is awarded by NASF (National Association for Surface Finishing) in the US. 

The prize is awarded to a person, who in theoretical as well as in practical ways has contributed to ground-breaking research within electro-chemical surface treatment. The prize award took place as part of the opening ceremony at the US SUR/FIN-2017 conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Per Møller in Atlanta, Georgia

Only a few scientists outside the US have received the award. One of the most well-known within the area, is the German professor Ernst Raub, who received the prize in 1974 in honor of his development of the modern theory behind electroplating.

A unanimous prize committee justified the award with the fact that professor Per Møller for many years has contributed internationally to the field of electroplating as well as to the scientific literature by publishing the book “Advanced Surface Technology - A holistic view on the extensive and intertwined world of applied surface engineering”. About the book NASF says “It’s the greatest and most important work within surface technology for the last 40 years”. The book is written in cooperation with Lars Pleth Nielsen, who is director and surface technology researcher at Danish Technological Institute.

With the honorable prize comes the obligation of giving the” William Blum Memorial Lecture”. Professor Per Møller will give this lecture targeting on his research fields at the SUR/FIN conference in Cleveland, Ohio, 2018.

With this award, professor Per Møller places a highly visible and distinguished pin of Danish advanced surface research and development on the world map.

Article by Michael Jensen

LinkedIn Article here

Possibility to test new TiB2 tool coating

The tribology centre at Danish Technological Institute, a Fast Track partner, have just sent out this newsletter. As a part of a Fast Track R&D project, they have developed a new titanium diboride coating which has been optimized for cutting in non-ferrous metals. 

Contact the tribology centre if your company is interested in testing the tool coating. 

Resultat af Fast Track projekt: Revnemodstandsdygtighed i epoxymaling

Projektets baggrund

Der er øget efterspørgsel på hurtigt tørrende maling, som både koster mindre og som har et lavere indhold af VOC - flygtige organiske forbindelser. Disse systemer har øget risiko for revnedannelse og dermed mekaniske fejl i malingen. 

Udfordringen er at disse coatings bliver udsat for mange forskellige situationer i deres levetid; hvordan påføres malingen og under hvilke forhold, er der varmt, koldt, fugtigt og er det udsat for sollys? Hvad er den underliggende overflades tilstand? Hvilken lagtykkelse opnås der, og er den ensartet? Og hvorledes påvirker det revnemodstandsdygtigheden i den påførte maling

Projektets formål var at fokusere på de processer som er bestemt af malingsproducenten, dvs. tørretid, hærdetid og spændingsudvikling. 


Situationen er meget kompleks pga. de mange ukendte faktorer. De forskellige processer som sker under tørring og hærdning er undersøgt. Spændingsudviklingen er undersøgt ved shim bending metoden. Der er opnået stor forståelse for den udvikling der sker i malingen selv efter den er i sin funktion. 

Denne udvikling har stor indflydelse på den ydeevne som malingen har på lang sigt, når det præcise miljø som malingen bliver udsat for i slutbrug. 


De første skridt er taget til at forstå samspillet mellem tørring, hærdning og spændingsudviklingen. Der er identificeret pålidelige metoder til at undersøge hver process og der er ligeledes lavet et dybdegående studie af hurtigt-hærdende epoxy systemer. 

Det har således været muligt at identificere metoder til at øge forståelsen af tørring, hærdning og stress udvikling. Tørring blev kvantificeret med simple vægttabs-eksperimenter, hærdning blev undersøgt med DSC, differentialscanningkalorimetri, og spændingsudklingen blev undersøgt med shim bending metoden. 

Projektets partnere: Hempel A/S, Aalborg Universitet og FORCE Technology.