Supporting the decarbonization of transport

Increase the safety of transportation-related innovations

Our unique expertise in color intelligence allows us to create smart coatings for:

aircraft-engines

Secure the deployment of composite materials

Composite materials are increasingly being integrated into various industries such as the railroad industry, for reasons of cost and carbon footprint.

The use of these materials offers many advantages over metal components, such as design flexibility allowing for an infinite number of shapes, corrosion and UV resistance, rigidity, or the incorporation of sensors, connectors, wiring and lights into the material. These materials also improve aesthetics and minimize energy consumption, noise and vibration, improving passenger comfort.

As part of a circular economy, composite manufacturing also allows for the recycling of materials such as nylon recovered from end-of-life fishing nets, carbon fibers, or thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) used in protective smartphone shells.

Our teams are faced with a major problem: the sensitivity of these composite materials to shocks, with the result that the structure becomes brittle and delaminates.

Create piezochrome coatings to reveal an impact on a composite

For the aeronautical sector, we have developed piezochromic coatings capable of changing color with pressure.

The objective is to use these smart paints to detect the presence of impacts or plastic deformation. As soon as the damage threshold is reached, it is signaled by a change in color and/or luminescence.

This solution is a real economic alternative to traditional ultrasonic methods, which guarantee the identification of any damage for repair, but which remain very time-consuming processes, in the order of two hours per square meter.

The immediate visual detection by a controller represents an undeniable saving of time and limits the risk of weakening the structure.

Securing the deployment of hydrogen, the new green fuel

Explosion-hydrogen

Explosion of a hydrogen station near Olso

Green or low-carbon hydrogen is a relevant solution for decarbonizing industry and the transport sector. It is particularly with regard to heavy vehicles that this technology could prove its worth. In France, transport is responsible for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions and is the largest emitting activity in the country.

Green hydrogen is a real way forward for carbon-free mobility because its use generates neither pollutant emissions nor noise pollution.

However, hydrogen remains very delicate to manage and the risks of leaks are very high given the extremely small size of the molecules. These hydrogen leaks present a serious risk of fire and explosion, as in the case of the accident that occurred in Oslo in 2019 (photo opposite).

The flammable nature of hydrogen classifies it in the European ATEX regulations. This gas ignites and burns more easily than gasoline or diesel. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless, so leaks are difficult to detect by human means alone.

Create chemochromic coatings to signal a hydrogen leak

Our research and innovation department works daily to develop indicators and sensors capable of changing properties (color, luminescence) to warn of a danger or an anomaly.

This is the case for supporting hydrogen-related deployments. Our teams have designed chemochromic coatings capable of changing color when in contact with hydrogen gas.

Depending on the target environment, our teams adjust the detection threshold. We also adapt the implementation to allow detection on the scale of a connection between two pipes, or even of a painting to secure a supply station.

This type of development affects all sectors of mobility: automobiles (cars, trucks, buses, etc.), trains and, potentially, aviation.