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E6 Ventures invests in novel coatings developer



By Tim Wright



Published December 11, 2008
E6 Ventures has agreed to participate in the next round of funding in Diamond Hard Surfaces Ltd. Set up in 2005 by its chief technical officer, Sergey Aleksandrov, Diamond Hard Surfaces is a high technology company that has developed a low temperature process to create thick amorphous diamond-like carbon coatings applicable in a broad range of wear-related applications in a number of industrial sectors.

"We were impressed with the properties which Diamond Hard Surfaces' material offered, since it puts the company in a unique space in the coatings sector. We are very excited about the opportunities this presents," said Brendon Grunewald, head of E6 Ventures on its investment. "We are investing in this round alongside the company's original backers, Oxford Technologies Management Venture Capital Trusts, who have been actively involved in the company since its inception." This venture capital trust fund specializes in investing in the start up and early stage technology sector.

The company's technology has been protected by patent and the manufacturing process has been developed in the company's laboratory facilities. Diamond Hard Surfaces' diamond-like coating material has properties of lower wear, high hardness and a low coefficient of friction. Applying the Adamant coating to other materials gives extended life in high temperature, chemically aggressive and abrasive environments.

The low temperature process allows the coating of a range of substrates from steel to thermoplastics to give components such as bearings and valves, for example, reduced friction, enhanced wear resistance and load carrying characteristics over and above traditional materials and other coated surfaces. Currently Diamond Hard Surfaces produce three distinct grades of coating. Each is suitable for different applications and differing component finished conditions with coating thickness that range from one to 60 microns.

The low temperatures at which the coating can be applied mean that there is minimal effect on the substrate material and the process is applicable to a wide range of materials. In addition, Adamant diamond hard surfaces do not require sophisticated and lengthy sub-layer preparation for many substrates

Oxford, UK-based Diamond Hard Surfaces recently won its first production orders for mechanical seals used in compressors and pumps in the oil/gas industry. Test coatings are being carried out with potential customers for a range of applications from ball/gate valves to down-hole oil drilling to Formula One engine components.


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