Professor Dr. Erich Lugscheider was born in Vienna, and studied technical chemistry and physics at TU Wien, where he completed his doctorate in the field of materials technology.
In Aachen he took over the post of chief engineer at the chair of materials science of Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technical University Aachen and finished his post-doctoral lecturing qualification in 1975. Three years later, Prof. Dr. Erich Lugscheider founded the Teaching and Research Institute for Materials Sciences at the RWTU Aachen and headed the department up to 2005.
In parallel, he has been appointed in 1987 to an honorary professorship for Materials Sciences at Beijing Aeronautic University, in China. Dr. Erich Lugscheider was for a long time on the supervisory board and now holds the position of TLS honorary chairman. Erich Lugscheider and Christopher Wasserman, President of TeroLab Surface Group, have been connected by a long lasting and intensive friendship.
Christopher Wasserman: We are lucky to have found you as a partner in dialogue, who can look back on a large treasure of founded knowledge in the field of Thermal Spraying. How do you currently assess the market?
Prof. Dr. Erich Lugscheider: Dear Christopher, I am convinced that surface technology has the potential to be more significant in the future, and therefore also the thermal spraying technology as one of its key technologies. The reason for this is the growing interest in such issues as environment protection, resource conservation, climate change, safety, mobility and energy technology, to mention only the most important.
Christopher Wasserman: What development opportunities do you see as visionary in this sector?
Prof. Dr. Erich Lugscheider: Thermal spray processes will very dynamically be further developed with the aim of optimising the processes and coating materials on the tailor-made specific applications, and whereby modelling and simulation are the essential precondition for the growing understanding of the processes.
As vision I also see the adaptive manufacture. Building on the 3D-printing technology, this will in the long-term bring about a competition with machining and joining technology. However, besides the today’s dominant laser technology, even thermal spray technology, such as the cold gas spraying process, could play an important role.
With a regard to TLS-Medical, your TeroLab Surface’s dependence in France, I could say that currently, interesting applications are to be expected in the field of medical technologies, for instance through the adaptive manufacture using biomaterials.
Christopher Wasserman: At the moment the suspension spraying is on everyone’s lips. What chance do you give this technology on the market?
Prof. Dr. Erich Lugscheider: The suspension spraying is in recent times characterized by extensive scientific research. Although coating systems are already available, the application of the suspension spraying is still at the starting point. I think that suspension spraying will less compete with the classical thermal spraying applications, but could in future rather expand into new markets.
Christopher Wasserman: Do you think that it is promising to superimpose zinc and zinc alloys in combination with zinc-containing lacquers on offshore wind turbines in order to guarantee the corrosion resistance for 20 to 25 years?
Prof. Dr. Erich Lugscheider: The thermal spraying of zinc and zincbased materials in combination with lacquering already played a certain role today, undoubtedly not sufficiently, in the offshore applications. Work should be done here to reinforce the acceptance of the thermal spraying, since the thermal spraying successes in the offshore technology could be made more visible within the surface engineering market.
Christopher Wasserman: Now I have already exceeded the three questions to our expert. This is because it is always so informative and captivating to dive with you into this matter. Many thanks for the conversation.