Friends2 Project

Framework of Innovation for Engineering
of New Durable Solar Surfaces

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Cranfield University

Connecting fundamental materials research with manufacturing
to develop novel technologies

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Performing fundamental research to solve key problems
of modern society using large scale facilities

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Metal Estalki

Offering coatings that mean life, for your parts or your tools

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Applied production research in the field of industrial assistive
systems and additive micro/nano manufacturing.

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Development of high end PVD coatings by sputtering.

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“The project entitled Framework of Innovation for Engineering of New Durable Solar Surfaces (FRIENDS2) consists of two academic partners Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden – Rossendorf e.V., a research institution from Germany which coordinates de project, and Cranfield University from the United Kingdom, Profactor, an applied research company from Austria, and two Spanish SME, Metal Estalki and Nano4Energy.”


Is to advance the development of new coating designs that can improve the performance of key materials used in a central receiver CSP plant through an efficient inter-sectoral transfer of knowledge in new coatings design, manufacturing and advanced characterization, and coating evaluation, and to contribute to the formation of new personnel in these activities.


Central receiver collector systems 100%
Ion beam Center 100%
Coating Manufacturing facilities 100%
High temperature Corrosion equipment 100%
Heliostat Fields 100%
Metallurgical Laboratories 100%
Materials Characterization Laboratories 100%


Cranfield University: Sol Gel, EBPVD, CVD, thin film sputter deposition, controlled atmosphere plasma spraying, plasma assisted CVD and electroplating deposition systems. Coating characterization facilities include XRD, SEM/EDX, FIB, AFM, TEM, ESCA/XPS and XRF.

Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf: the Ion Beam Centre (IBC) with 40 experimental stations has a long-time experience in the fields of ion implantation, ion-beam modification, ion-beam analysis and ion- or plasma-assisted film deposition.

For complex synthesis, modification, analysis, and property experiments at defined environments a cluster tool was implemented at the 6MV ion accelerator of the ion beam centre by the scaling phenomena division, PVD deposition setups, diode laser annealing, structural characterization facilities (Raman spectroscopy), property characterization setups (spectroscopic ellipsometry, spectral photometry, Hall effect, etc…).

Metal Estalki: 4 PVD reactors comprehending 1 small R&D reactor and 3 large size industrial reactors are available at the company facilities for the project.

Profactor GmbH: Profactor has access to a semi-automated mid-scale atmospheric plasma spraying unit. Several surface pre-treatment units including chemical etching and characterization equipment as digital optical microscopy, profilometer, atomic force microscope, infrared spectroscopy are available on the premises of Profactor. Besides, a weathering instrument for climate simulation is available, as well.

Nano4Energy: A laboratory with 3 vacuum sputtering chambers equipped with industrial magnetrons, plasma process controller and characterization equipment will be used for the project. For HIPIMS depositions, a variety of power supplies from 1 to 20 kW is available. Additionally, access to characterization equipment, a sample preparation lab as well as office and IT facilities will be provided, that are shared with the materials team from the Instituto de Fusion Nuclear (