Dana Corp. (DCN) is deploying what it claims to be a ‘revolutionary’, proprietary technology that harnesses highly efficient microwave energy to accomplish dozens of processes, including the heat treating and coating of metal and ceramic parts.
The company’s Microwave Plasma Technology operates at atmospheric pressure. This is significant, as historically microwaves have not been used to process metals because metals do not absorb microwaves, and the reflection can damage the microwave source. However, surrounding the metal with microwave-absorbing plasma at atmospheric pressure solves this problem. The process facilitates a variety of metal processing applications, such as brazing, sintering, carburizing, annealing, tempering, nitriding and coating.
The Barcelona-based company is scheduling internal production lines for the deployment of microwave plasma technology, but is also in discussions with several other companies about external commercialization opportunities. Dana chairman and CEO Michael J. Burns explained, “This is an important breakthrough in manufacturing technology. The potential cost savings are significant, but even more exciting are the possibilities this technology offers in terms of licensing opportunities, as well as new product development.”