Heroimage Institut Fuer Oberflaechenforschung


Development of smart nano and microcapsulated sensing coatings for improving of material durability/performance

Detection of corrosion processes using polymeric capsules with pH indicator
Project start
Project end
Total budget
900.000 €
• University of Aveiro (PT)
• Smallmatek (PT)
• Latvijas Universitates Polimeru Mehanikas (LT)
• Synpo Akciova Spolecnost (CZ)
• Belarusian State University (BY)

The project aims to develop an innovative approach to impart sensing functionality and detect substrate degradation. The degradation processes targeted will be corrosion of metallic substrates and mechanical damage by impact on fibre reinforced plastics and composites (FRP), used as structural components in the vehicle industry worldwide. The innovative sensing materials are based on controlled release of active species, encapsulated in polymeric and inorganic capsules with sizes ranging from several micrometres down to the nanometre range.

These will be designed and prepared in a way that responds to specific triggers associated with the nature of the degradation process. The functional materials will be subsequently incorporated as additives in organic and hybrid organic-inorganic coating
matrices, or directly impregnated in the substrate (FRP).

The goal is to get coatings capable of sensing substrate degradation at early stages, making maintenance operations cost-effective without jeopardizing safety. The range of selected materials encloses systems conceptually designed to be prepared and tested for the first time at lab scale (high breakthrough at research level) and others already studied at lab scale with promising results and which can already be tested at pilot scale (high innovation level). Furthermore, the characterization encompasses lab-scale, cutting-edge technologies and modelling, as well as upscaling and industrial validation.

The consortium has strong knowledge and relevant experience from previously conducted projects on the topic. The project foresees intensive exchange of staff between the involved partners, which are from both the academic and non-academic sector. Also, staff exchange with a partner organization outside the EU is planned.


Dr. rer. nat. Nico Scharnagl
Dr. rer. nat. Nico Scharnagl Researcher

Institute of Surface Science

Phone: +49 (0)4152 87-1947

E-mail contact