Enterprise Europe Network

High-performance tungsten containing nanopowders and polymer-based functional additives for industrial applications

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Partner keyword: 
Ceramic Materials and Powders
Composite materials
Metals and Alloys
Plastics, Polymers
Surgical instrumentation and equipment
Fibre-reinforced (plastic) composites
Polymer (plastics) materials
Chemical and solid material recycling
Manufacture of other plastic products
Manufacture of other ceramic products
Precious metals production
Other non-ferrous metal production
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering


The German SME has developed an eco-friendly process, to produce high-quality tungsten containing nanopowders on an industrial scale by recycling of hard metal scrap. The metallic and ceramic nanopowders are compatible with state-of-the-art processing technologies and can be used to improve the properties of end products (e.g. fiber reinforced plastics), while reducing material and processing costs. The SME is looking for technical cooperation and manufacturing agreements on an industrial scale.



The German SME utilises a recycling process to produce tungsten containing nanopowders in high quality on an industrial scale. The technological process is specifically designed to produce dedicated metal and ceramic nanopowders directly from (hard) metal scrap. The nanopowder variety ranges from pure tungsten to tungsten carbide, tungsten trioxide and premium powder mixtures with selected rare earth elements. The key features of the nanopowders are particle sizes in the nanometer range, relatively high specific surface area values and a high potential of physical, chemical and biological activity. This combination of characteristics make the powders unique for a broad range of technological applications.

In addition, the company is continuously developing novel materials and processing techniques for industrial applications. Thereby, the German enterprise has successfully developed functional additives in the form of viscous pastes, in which tungsten containing nanopowders are finely and homogeneously dispersed in poly-/vinyl ester resins. These functional additives are proved to significantly enhance multiple properties (e.g. mechanical and thermal) of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) products from renowned medium-sized European companies. In addition to the technical product improvements, a reduction of material and processing costs of up to 50% was reported by the customers. The additives are fully compatible with state-of-the-art processing technologies in the FRP industry, such as the fiber spraying, wrapping and pultrusion method.

A technical study in cooperation with a medium-sized European company has shown that the functional additives can be easily involved in the pultrusion fabrication process as well. This novel approach enables a highly efficient production of technical plastic profiles with complex geometries and significantly enhanced mechanical (e.g. bending strength and interlaminar shear strength) and thermal properties (e.g. glass transition temperature). Furthermore, the technical plastic profiles maintain their elasticity and form stability after the manufacturing process by pultrusion.

The company is interested in projects and long-term partnerships in the form of technical cooperation agreements and manufacturing agreements as outlined in the section “Type and Role of Partner sought”.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The company´s nanotechnology: - is fully developed and optimised for the production of high-quality tungsten containing nanopowders on an industrial scale by recycling of (hard) metal scrap - is eco-friendly, since a large scale of metal scrap can be directly transferred into functional nanopowders, without formation of critical by-products - significantly reduces the uncertainty of supply of rare metals (tungsten) on the world market - significantly reduces material and processing costs - enhances multiple properties (e.g. mechanical and thermal) of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) products The tungsten containing nanopowder products combine specific properties of nanoparticles and hard metals in one, which opens new ways for the development of next-generation materials and customised smart products. The nanopowder products are available in the form of metals and ceramics, and therefore offer a broad range of physical and chemical functionalities on the nanoscale. The use of functional additives in FRP end products has the following benefits: - savings of material costs of up to 50% for the fabrication of water storage tanks with the fiber spraying method, while maintaining the long-term mechanical and chemical performance - enhancement of pressure resistance of pipe products (fabricated with the wrapping method) from the oil and gas industry of up to 30 % - improvements of thermo-mechanical properties of up to 180% for moulded materials based on pure vinyl ester resins - significant contribution to weight reduction The company is strongly customer-oriented and develops product solutions for dedicated technological applications.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Already on the market

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The German enterprise is interested in projects and long-term partnerships in the form of technical cooperation agreements and manufacturing agreements. The company is mainly seeking partners from industry who are interested in recycling (hard-)metals to nanopowders and/or to apply metal containing nanopowders and polymer-based functional additives in their products and applications. Technical cooperation agreement: The company is looking for partners to further develop the technical performance of their tungsten containing nanopowders and polymer-based fuctional additives and to test the materials in products. Manufacturing agreements: Production of nanopowder products and polymer-based functional additives (masterbatches) is offered. Discussions are very welcome if the partner is uncertain if the recycling process is applicable to their (hard-)metal scrap. The German SME wishes to discuss further details in 1:1 meetings, where also specific info material can be provided. The tungsten containing nanopowders and polymer-based functional additives can be utilised in high-end technological products within the following sectors and applications: - Powder metallurgy - Glass and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics research and industry - Oil, gas and mining industry (e.g. storage tanks, pipe systems, mining tools and machinery) - Automotive industry (e.g. light weight structural parts, vehicle interior parts, H2 storage systems) - Wind-energy engineering (e.g. wind power plants) - Shipbuilding industry (e.g. robust ship carcass/body parts) - Medical technology (e.g. bioacitve/bioacompatible implants, surgical instruments with antibacterial/antimicrobial coatings) - Tool manufacturing industry (e.g. cutting tools for machining) - Electronic industry (e.g. micro-/nanocircuits, flexible thin film electronics, transparent electrodes) - Electrochromic applications (e.g. smart windows and coatings) - Mechanical engineering - Chemical industry - Recycling technology - Abrasives - Welding electrodes - Pigments in ceramics and paints - Gas sensors - Technical coatings and thin films - Photocatalysis - Organic solar cell applications

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,251-500,SME 51-250