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Thermission AG Earns Frost & Sullivan’s European Technology Innovation Award for Its Innovative Thermal Diffusion Coating Patented Technology

Zinc thermal diffusion is an innovative surface protection

Based on its recent analysis of the thermal diffusion coatings market, Frost & Sullivan recognized Thermission AG with the 2017 European Technology Innovation Award for its proprietary zinc thermal diffusion technology.

Zinc thermal diffusion is an extremely effective and gentle method for coating and finishing metals and metal products. While a conventional process merely applies a zinc layer on the base material, Thermission’s zinc thermal diffusion penetrates into the base material where it forms a resilient zinc-metal bond. This microalloy provides extensive protection against corrosion and wear without a significant application layer. At the same time, the structure and properties of the materials are protected and improved from the inside.

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Thermal diffusion coating is based on a combination of zinc powder and additives that are proprietary and chosen according to the composition of the metal substrate to be coated. In a typical process, parts and components made of lightweight metal alloy containing aluminum, titanium, magnesium, or copper are pre-treated to remove oxides and activate the surface. The coating application is performed at a temperature between 280 and 390 degree Celsius, when the zinc dust mixture is applied to form a zinc diffusion layer. This creates a zinc microalloy with a coating thickness of 4 to 25 μm. 

Frost & Sullivan recognized that the patented technology differs from other technological processes in three key ways:

  • The process takes place at temperatures below the melting point of zinc, which widens the scope of adoption for the thermal diffusion process.
  • There is no formation of brittle zinc-metal intermediate phases, eliminating the risk of flaking under mechanical stresses.
  • The process works on the internal properties of the metal substrate and improves strength and ductility.

“Thermission’s technology is scalable, seamlessly fitting into the required specifications across industries, such as automotive, marine, and railways,” said Isaac Premsingh, Frost & Sullivan industry analyst. “For small batches, customers can use Thermission’s own coating facilities in Switzerland and the United States to test new parts and new applications where ferrous and non-ferrous metals are being explored. Thermission also offers turnkey production lines customized to coat large, bulky components that can be integrated into the production process at the customer’s site, enabling customers to gain complete control and flexibility to tune the coating process and reduce response times.” 

In the automotive industry, 80% of the metal and metal alloy components are required to withstand at least 720 salt spray test hours. While cheaper diffusion coating technologies meet this standard,  Thermission’s technology provides corrosion protection for up to 1,400 salt spray test hours.

Frost & Sullivan’s research of best practices followed by coating process technology developers found that Thermission’s well-structured approach to identifying and overcoming key technology barriers to deliver long-term corrosion protection for hybrid, lightweight construction is the benchmark in the thermal diffusion coatings industry. 

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables. 

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry. 

About Thermission AG

Founded in 2013 in Schenkon, the Swiss company Thermission has developed zinc thermal diffusion – an innovative process for surface protection. An especially effective and long-lasting corrosion protection is created through gas-phase galvanization. This resilient diffusion layer improves also the material properties of the coated parts and components. Zinc thermal diffusion is employed in sectors such as the automotive, railroad and maritime industries as well as in offshore wind parks. And because the thickness of the coating is negligible, it is extremely suitable for lightweight constructions.

The process is free of chromium VI and is therefore very sustainable and eco-friendly. At the development center opened in 2014 in Thun, Switzerland, Thermission offers thermal diffusion coating services for new applications tailored to customers’ requirements. For larger production volumes, the coating specialist also develops automated thermal diffusion systems that can be seamlessly integrated into a company’s own production facilities. The company operates sales offices in Germany as well as the US, where production is also scheduled to begin in 2018.

About Frost & Sullivan 

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector, and the investment community. Contact us: Start the discussion


Samantha Park
P: 210.348.1001
F: 210.348.1003
E: samantha.park@frost.com

Mr. Simon Korner
Marketing & Communication
P: +41 41 511 03 96
E: s.korner@thermission.com