Collaborative project

Scientific Methodology and Work Packages

NANOCLEAN will allow industrial automotive end-users (and other OEMs) to design andprovide mass production plastic moulded parts with controlled wettability, and subsequentfunctionalities, through up-scaling micro/nanotechnologies and lab-scale nanomanufacturingprocedures to competitive and implanted injection moulding process. Thischallenging goal requires an integrated approach, ranging from suitable material development,submicromachining techniques and material characterisation, to final industrial implementationand assessment. The interplay between involved technologies needs a clear and transparentapproach and timely decision-making.

NANOCLEAN, therefore, is based on two approaches in parallel for initial steps in the processflow to converge into useful combination through injection moulding technology for optimizing performance and minimising risk.

The methodology proposed to achieve the NANOCLEAN objectives is based on a work programme divided into 6 Work Packages (WP) (see simplified Pert diagram).



NANOCLEAN strategy, thus, consists of the next key elements:

  • After a preliminary period of overall analysis of the opportunity, market surveillance anddefinition of specifications and requirements by OEM (car manufacturer-CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT) and supplier of components (MAIER), two complementarytechnologies will be investigated in parallel:
    • Nanostructured injection tools: Production of nanostructured dies through directsurface modification on metal using enhanced energy by ultra-short pulsed lasertexturing.
    • Tailor-made enhanced hydrophobic polymers/compounds: Select, design anddevelop new grades of highly hydrophobic polymers suitable for injectionmoulding by bottom-up approaches.
  • Once the nanostructured moulds and materials, the injection moulding techniques,combining suitable elements (dies, materials & parameters), have been validated, theywill be set-up to final up-scale of the overall process. Injection performance is related totranscription of mould surface onto moulded plastic through involved thermo-viscoelasticmechanisms, which depend on plastic material, topography and process conditions.
  • The assessment of the self-cleaning technology will be demonstrated by a finalautomotive component and technical/economical analysis, in quest of other sectors andopportunities for the new developed ultra-short pulsed laser based texturing technology,the new hydrophobic polymers for extrusion/injection processes, and the combinatoryinjection moulding for fascinating new surface functionalities on injected components.
  • Finally, exploitation of related large-scale production of advanced nanostructured systemsfor promotion of commercial availability for specific applications and dissemination ofknowledge-based processing methods towards nanostructured materials will beperformed.

The success of NANOCLEAN will prove the feasibility of economically-effective manufacturingof mass-products with enhanced surface functions and unlimited potentials based onnanotechnology and implanted production processes. This last point will ensure the entrance ofup-scaled technologies to the market, being well-received for wide-spread applications in thestrong European industry as well as for niche for new future nanostructured materials based high-tech developments.

Furthermore, a thorough risk analysis has been performed and milestones have been planned toevaluate the risk occurrence, and if needed, contingency plans will be applied, which are integralto the work program structure. The major risk associated to the project are in WP2(micro/nanostructuring), WP3 (plastic materials), WP4 (injection moulding) and WP5 (upscaling).


Work package

Work Package Title

Lead participant


Project Management



Micro/nanostructured injection tools



Plastic materials with tailor-made enhanced hydrophobicity



Set-up of injection moulding



Up-scaling of technology



Exploitation and Dissemination