Haverhill-based Keronite secures Phase 1 EU Horizon 2020 funding for feasibility study

The Keronite process in action.

The Keronite process in action. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based surface technology company Keronite has secured European Union funding to develop new wear resistant technologies for the automotive market.

The Haverhill firm has been selected for Phase 1 funding on the Horizon 2020 programme, which provides funding and support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative projects that are ready for global market competition.

The first phase of the programme – worth 50,000 euros (about £38,000) – will see Keronite carry out concept and feasibility studies for the development of wear-resistant, lightweight aluminium brakes.

Subject to satisfactory results, Keronite will then be able to apply for the second and third phases of the programme, which provide funding and practical support for development and commercialistion.

Matt Hamblin, chief executive of Keronite, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this funding, which follows hot on the heels of news that we’ve also been accepted onto the Government’s Growth Builder scheme.

“With efforts to reduce emissions and fuel consumption continuing across the automotive industry, we believe our patented technology offers a real opportunity for the industry to take advantage of lighter metal alloys in component design.

“As a crucial safety component in vehicle design, brakes are subject to intense forces that make wear an inevitable part of their day-to-day life.

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“Historically, this has made the adoption of lighter metal alloys a complete non-starter but, with Keronite technology already proven for other high-performance applications, we’re confident we can develop a specialist solution that will enable the wide-scale development of lighter weight components across the industry.”

Keronite is home to a patented plasma electrolytic oxidation technology that improves the performance characteristics of light alloys, such as aluminium, magnesium and titanium.

The treatment enables the use of lightweight metal alloys in high-performance environments, such as aerospace, automotive and energy, offering performance and environmental improvements.