Research collaboration on steel surfaces between VUB-SURF and OCAS

Publication date 29.07.2011

Hands-on Collaboration between SURF & OCAS

As of October 1st 2008, the Department of Metallurgy, Electrochemistry and Material Science (META) and the Department of Computational Electrochemistry Group (CEG) have formed a new research group, the Electrochemical and Surface Engineering group (SURF). Research conducted by this group revolves around 5 cross-linked areas of expertise in electrochemistry and nano-surfaces technology:

  • electrochemical engineering
  • electrochemical modeling
  • corrosion technology
  • functional surface engineering
  • and surface characterization.

Collaboration with OCAS

OCAS is a research centre located in Zelzate and Zwijnaarde. It is a joint venture of the ArcelorMittal group and the Flemish region. OCAS is responsible for steel solutions and product developments related to energy markets, domestic appliances, metal construction and processing and electrical steel applications.

The collaboration between OCAS and META started with OCAS extending its surface functionalization research portfolio. As a result of the internationally recognized success in aluminium surface research of the META group, suggestions rose to perform research on steel surfaces using an approach similar to the one worked out for aluminium. As this was a topic of interest for both groups, OCAS and META agreed to start collaborating on these topics. Contacts became more and more intense as several projects concerning surface properties were started. These projects were either financed directly by OCAS or by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT).

Thanks to the collaboration with OCAS, SURF now has many international contacts with other research centers such as VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) and the prestigious Max Planck Institute MPIE in Düsseldorf. SURF is involved in EU projects in which OCAS also participates and recently submitted a Marie Curie Training Network project.

SURF has recently started to investigate the surface properties of aluminium coatings formed on steel surfaces, and that is basically where it all started ten years ago.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel- Electrochemical and Surface Engineering Research Group (SURF)
Head: Annick HUBIN
Scientific contact: Herman TERRYN
Pleinlaan 2
Building G – 5th floor
1050 Brussels - Belgium
[T] +32 (0)2 629 32 55
[F] +32 (0)2 629 32 00