Lab Canada

Funding supports commercial testing of mechanical ductile electrode polishing system

Montreal, QC – Funding of $1.2 million has been awarded to mechanical engineering firm Surfasys, whose technology originates from the mechanical engineering research laboratory of Laval University.

The funds will be used to test the commercial feasibility of a mechanical polishing process for industrial moulds used in the plastics industry, a process traditionally carried out manually.

The funding was provided by SOVAR and BDC Venture Capital in a partnership the two firms formed in 2004 for the seed funding of emerging leading-edge technology companies. The initiative provides university researchers developing new technologies or prototypes of products with a potential commercial value, the financial and business support necessary to turn their projects into reality.

“Surfasys applies its advanced expertise in mechanical engineering and composite materials to improving the competitiveness of companies in the industrial moulding sector,” says Sylvain Savaria, Director, Technology Seed Investments with BDC.

The Surfasys team has developed a mechanical process using ductile electrode polishing of industrial moulds used in plastic injection moulding. This process is traditionally done by hand, which hampers the productivity of companies active in the sector. While a number of manufacturing processes have been automated over the years, manual polishing continues to be very costly for the companies involved. The technology used by the company to manufacture the composite electrodes and carbon nanoparticles was discovered in the laboratory of Dr Alain Curodeau from Laval’s mechanical engineering department.

“The cost of hand polishing a mould, in fact, can account for up to 40% of the mould manufacturing cost, says Alain Curodeau, president and founder of Surfasys. “Automating the process would translate into increased competitiveness for industrial mould manufacturers.”