The University has opened new research pavilions with laboratories at the Faculty of Materials Science in Trnava: Slovak Ion Centre called SlovakION and Research Institute for automation and informatisation of manufacturing processes.
The Slovak Ion Centre SlovakION brings to Slovakia ion and plasma technologies which are high on the international agenda. One of the new systems allows scientists to modify materials using accelerated ion flux through voltage of 6 million volts. Thanks to additional devices scientists can modify the surface of materials by using plasma coating or sputtering. This technology can be used on metal, plastic, glass, ceramic or other materials, whether coarse-grained or extremely fine-grained, so called nanomaterials. The University scientists can thus explore and develop new advanced materials.
"The new materials will change the future. The scientific world is looking for materials that are better, stronger, more durable and have exceptional properties. In Slovakia we now have a workplace that will enable us to engage in the world-class materials research. We are not going to miss a chance. The Centre researchers have been trained at the research institute in Rossendorf in Germany, we have contacts with international scientific teams and we achieved success in a project competition Teaming for Excellence organised by the European Commission. The competition aims to encourage research in top European institutes", said Oliver Moravcik, the University Vice-rector and principal leader of the University Research Centre Cambo Trnava project which includes SlovakION.
"We are grateful to the European Union for the chance to renew our laboratories and research infrastructure at the Slovak University of Technology. It is needed to ensure top quality university education for young professionals. Quality science comes at a price and it will bring multiple returns to the society", said Robert Redhammer, the University Rector.
New materials which can withstand extreme conditions can be found in various areas of the automotive industry, in electronics, energy and space research. Advanced materials were used in the construction of accelerators at CERN, or in the construction of a fusion nuclear reactor, which unlike existing reactors does not split the nuclei of atoms, but connects them. It is a reaction similar to that on the Sun, where conventional materials would melt. Materials with high ability to absorb light are found in solar panels; materials with low adhesion coated with PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene, sold under the brand name Teflon) are used in the food industry. In electronics there are unbreakable touch screens and the automotive industry uses porous metallic materials that resist deformation in a collision.
Scientists at the Faculty of Materials science & Technology have long been devoted to new materials research. Up until recently they focused on the research of complex metal alloys characterized by high corrosion resistance, light reflectance and high hydrogen absorption capacity. High hydrogen absorption capacity would be a major shift in the development of hydrogen combustion engines in cars.
SlovakION was built by the Slovak University of Technology as part of the “University science park Cambo Trnava” project. The project also included the construction of another research institute for automation and informatization of manufacturing processes and systems. Laboratories at this institute are equipped with engineering apparatus and technologies from world's leading manufacturers, mainly from the automotive industry. The laboratories will be used for applied research and prepare students for their future profession.
The Slovak Ion Centre project received support as part of the Teaming for Excellence programme at the beginning of 2015. The European Commission assessed it as the 8th best project in the competition of 162 projects from 15 EU countries. The Teaming programme aims to support the best research institutions in the EU and their involvement in international cooperation.
Slovak Ion Centre called SlovakION
Research Institute for automation and informatisation of manufacturing processes