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Pioneering technology for the automotive industry
WECODUR®: up to 90 per cent less fine dust emissions thanks to innovative shift system for brake discs

Aachen, 11 April 2022 – S-UBG AG is investing in HPL Technologies GmbH from Aachen together with co-investor ITT Inc. The company has developed an innovative technology that makes it economically viable to coat brake discs to improve their ecological footprint. The automotive industry considers the new technology to be a groundbreaking development, as it minimises particulate emissions caused by brake systems, extends the service life of brake discs, increases corrosion resistance and at the same time significantly undercuts previous processes in terms of cost.

“Particulate matter emissions from non-drive parts in vehicles are significant and will be regulated by the EU in the future,” says Dr Ansgar Schleicher, CEO of S-UBG AG. “With WECODUR®, HPL Technologies has developed a process that not only enables an extreme reduction of these emissions through the brake system, but also significantly lower wear brake discs, so that fewer brake discs are required in the life cycle of a vehicle. We are pleased to be able to support such a technology, which significantly improves the status quo in terms of particulate emissions and CO2 emissions through production, with our investment.”

Brake systems are the key to reducing particulate matter

The WECODUR® coating process from HPL Technologies is specially optimised for the brake disc application. In contrast to conventional laser cladding machines, WECODUR® enables economical series production and therefore widespread use, as the disc of a compact vehicle, for example, can be coated and ground in just 60 seconds. At the same time, the technology enables a lower minimum layer thickness and thus reduces material costs. Further advantages are the lower energy requirement and heat influence as well as the reduced surface roughness. The coating system can be applied to any conventional brake disc and reduces particulate emissions in vehicle operation by up to 90 per cent.

“The climate debate and advancing health protection are moving the brake disc into the focus of the automotive industry. With our technology, we can drastically reduce both the mass and particulate emissions of vehicle brakes for the first time,” says founder and CEO Dr Phillip Utsch.

HPL Technologies set up the world’s first production line for the laser coating and finishing of brake discs back in 2020. Since then, the system has been used for technology development and prototype projects for the company’s own friction system development on vehicle brakes as well as on behalf of well-known car manufacturers.

HPL Technologies was founded in 2018 as a spin-off on the RWTH Aachen Campus by Dr Phillip Utsch and Prof Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum. Together with their employees, they form an extremely experienced team with in-depth technological expertise. “Dr Utsch and Prof Schleifenbaum stand for concentrated expertise in mechanical engineering and are recognised specialists in laser-assisted hard coating and the grinding of brake discs. We are looking forward to working with this great team,” says Humberto Duarte, authorised signatory of S-UBG AG.

Securing a leading position in the growth market

HPL Technologies intends to use the newly acquired capital to realise its growth plans. “There is already strong demand for our technology from industry,” says Utsch. “With the help of S-UBG, we want to further extend our lead and take a significant position in the growth market of brake disc coating. We also want to tap into other customer segments; in addition to the automotive industry, for example, we see great potential in the area of commercial and rail vehicles.”

WECODUR Beschichtungsverfahren_Quelle HPL Technologies