Josefien Groot, Amber van Hauwermeiren, Ruben Geutjens
Qlayers is a young, passionate start-up that develops a new revolutionary coating head for applying (functional) coatings on large surfaces. The coating head will allow innovative functional coatings to break out of research labs and be deployed onto large and visible surfaces. Functional coatings, such as our drag reducing sharkskin, can reduce CO2 emissions and increase energy efficiency by creating more sustainable transport and more efficient wind turbines. The coating of large structures is at this point still done by hand, which results in a time consuming, dangerous and expensive process that faces several problems for the workers, coating companies, end-users, and the environment. Coating is wasted due to overspray and low transfer efficiencies, energy consuming and unsafe coating facilities are needed to keep the spray from contaminating and onsite coating processes can be extremely costly. The industry requires an automated onsite coating process that does not contaminate its environment. On the longer term, the end-user desperately needs his surfaces to fulfill a set of functions that are not offered by current industrial coatings. Next to adding colour and surface protection, additional functionality can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for vehicles, as well as avoid expensive methods for de-icing, cleaning and maintenance of many objects in the energy and transport sector. Qlayers develops a coating print head, the Slash100, which applies existing coatings autonomously in a locally controlled environment. As a premium service, the controlled environment allows Qlayers to apply and certify innovative functional coatings.