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Metallisation Short Listed For Lord Stafford Award

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Metallisation, a Dudley company that produces groundbreaking thermal spray units used across the globe, has been short listed for a prestigious innovation award.
Metallisation, which produces metal spray equipment for anti-corrosion and engineering applications, has been short listed for an Impact through Innovation Lord Stafford Award. These awards showcase the best in West Midlands innovation and collaboration between business and universities.
Working with Aston University, Metallisation has developed a pioneering High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) spray system, the Met Jet 4. The HVOF system sprays materials through the combustion of oxygen and kerosene in a chamber, which produces a high speed stream of hot gas at about 2 kilometres per second into which coating material in powder form is introduced. This stream of fast-moving powder – moving at speeds of 800 metres per second – produces a dense coating that is particularly well suited to extreme applications.
Around 5,000 units produced by Metallisation are in use around the world at any one time. Typical uses for Metallisation products include spraying protective coatings for turbines and structural steelwork, such as bridges, which prevent corrosion and significantly increase the lifespan of materials.
Metallisation employs 28 staff and exports more than two-thirds of its products overseas. The company is constantly developing new equipment to stay ahead of the market. Dr Terry Lester, Managing and Technical Director at Metallisation, says: “The nomination for the Lord Stafford Award is a huge honour and shows innovation is thriving in the Black Country. Every year or so we develop a new product through our design and development team, which is essential for us to maintain our position in the industry.”
Dr Terry Lester continues: “More than two thirds of our products are shipped overseas and markets with extreme weather conditions are our key markets. One of the challenges with HVOF is that the quality of kerosene varies around the world, depending on how it is produced in different countries. In doing some research on this, we joined up with Aston University, through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which enabled us to secure the services of Ben Hawkins, an engineering graduate who helped us develop alternative fuels. Ultimately, this has led to the production of a spray gun that offers substantial technological quality and commercial benefits to both Metallisation and our customers.”
Lord Stafford, Patron of the Awards, says: “Metallisation is a fantastic example of how industry can collaborate with universities to tackle challenges and generate benefits that can be felt all over the world. The work done by Metallisation in working with Aston University sets a real example to other engineering companies about the advantages to be gained by tapping into their expertise.”
The Lord Stafford Awards will be presented at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham on Thursday 15 November. This year is the 10th anniversary of the awards and to mark the occasion they are being held alongside the first ever Festival of Innovation.

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