News & Events

Technologies from Sigma Materials and Applied Nano Surfaces prevent abrasion of potentially hazardous particles in road and rail traffic

Applied Nano Surfaces, Erkrath in Nordrhein-Westfalen, March 2021

Particulate matter produced by the operation of motor vehicles is indisputably a potential health hazard. Tougher exhaust standards and the use of modern particulate filters have effectively reduced emissions from internal combustion engines, and with increasing e-mobility, fewer exhaust pollutants are being released into the environment. What remains is particulate pollution from the abrasion of tyres and brakes in road and rail traffic. With technologies from Sigma Materials and Applied Nano Surfaces, at least brake dust emissions can be sustainably reduced.


When cars stop at traffic lights or a train stops at the platform, the brakes have to cope with enormous loads. As sophisticated as modern braking systems have become, however, most systems are still based on discs made of grey cast iron, which wear out through abrasion and have to be replaced regularly. In the past, this was more or less taken note of and hardly anyone paid attention to the question of where the abraded metal particles ultimately remain.


Growing awareness of the problem and modern analysis technology draw increased attention to brake discs and brake dust

However, with advances in analytical technology and a growing awareness of the potential health hazards of particulate matter, brake abrasion is now coming more and more into focus. The attention of environmental researchers and health experts is focused in particular on particles with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres, officially referred to as “fine dust”, and even more so on particles with diameters below 2.5 micrometres, which can penetrate deep into the respiratory tract and cause lasting damage to the lungs and other organs. It is now clear that brake abrasion contains a high proportion of such particles. The State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg (LUBW) puts the annual brake dust emission for Germany from road traffic alone at 14,000 tonnes. As if that were not enough, brake dust contains particles of metals such as copper, iron or even antimony, which in turn can cause damage to health, the extent of which is still largely unexplored. Meanwhile, brake dust continues to be deposited along roads and railways, is stirred up as vehicles pass by and enters the air we breathe everywhere in densely populated areas.


Brake abrasion reduced to an absolute minimum: Tribo-conditioning and alternative materials make it possible

Wherever the principle of a disc brake is used, the abrasion of the finest particles can hardly be completely prevented: The braking process releases mechanical forces on the surface of the discs and generates heat, and friction repeatedly tears individual particles out of the material structures. However, the extent of the abrasion can be influenced, for example by coating the basic metal structure with wear-resistant materials such as tungsten carbide. With the triboconditioning developed by Applied Nano Surfaces (ANS), brake abrasion can be reduced even further: In this process, the brake discs are treated in a special surface finishing process in such a way that a “tribofilm” chemically bonds with the disc material and drastically reduces the abrasion of individual particles even under high material loads. As a result, not only is there less brake dust, but the durability of the brake discs is also increased several times over. However, this only works if the brake discs are made of special materials.


MMC: wear-resistant, temperature-resistant and lightweight

A technology developed by ANS partner company Sigma Materials is suitable for manufacturing such products. Sigma Materials uses so-called metal matrix composite (MMC) alloys with aluminium and/or titanium as a basis, which are enriched with particles and fibres from other materials depending on the application or to improve strength. As metal-matrix composites (MMC), the alloys go through a special manufacturing process: the material mixture is compacted by direct pressure sintering. The use of this type of sintering – i.e. pressing the powder together under high pressure and at temperatures close to the melting point – results in the ingredients bonding together extremely densely and homogeneously, with no residual porosity either on the outside or inside.


95 percent less particle emission and temperature resistant up to 800°C

When used as a brake disc, Sigma Materials reinforces the friction surfaces of the MMC product with special and particularly hard substances. On contact with the adapted brake pad, this structure ensures the formation of a fine transfer film between the contacting surfaces, which additionally reduces material wear. Although brake discs made of light metal are nothing new per se, such brake discs can only withstand temperatures of up to the order of 450°C and can therefore only be used as an alternative to classic grey cast iron products to a limited extent. The special MMC brake discs manufactured by Sigma Materials, on the other hand, can even be integrated into front axle brakes in which temperatures of up to 700°C can be generated during the braking process. And compared to conventional brake discs made of grey cast iron, the particle emission of MMC products is even up to 95 percent lower.


„Increasing electromobility only partly solves the brake dust problem“

For Andreas Storz, Managing Director of Applied Nano Surfaces GmbH and owner of Sigma Materials GmbH, tribo-conditioning and MMC-based products are currently the most suitable solution for getting the still acute brake dust problem under control in the long term. “In the current discussion about the expansion of electromobility, it is easy to get the impression that the occurrence of brake dust will virtually take care of itself over time thanks to recuperation,” says Storz, a mechanical engineer. “In reality, however, cars are getting bigger and heavier, which ultimately leads to higher loads on the brake discs and does not really reduce particle emissions, despite the recovery of braking energy via electric motors. Moreover, only part of the braking energy can ever be “saved”, and by not using the discs in everyday life due to recuperation, disc rust is a huge problem.” Apart from that, the brake dust emitted in road traffic also represents only a part of the total pollution, he said. “At the moment, it is not even possible to roughly estimate what brake dust is produced in freight traffic above ground on the railways or in passenger transport in the underground and is permanently swirled in the air along the tracks,” Andreas Storz points out, “and even if there are even brake dust filters in the meantime which add weight and service cost, the toxic residues still have to remain somewhere.”


About ANS

Applied Nano Surfaces (ANS) offers friction and wear reduction solutions for industry and especially the automotive sector. The uniqueness of ANS technology is the optimisation of all treated components using a technology that can be easily and cost-effectively implemented into existing production processes. For reduced friction and increased wear resistance!

Zirka 7.530 Zeichen, inkl. Leerzeichen, ohne Abbinder.

Der Abdruck bzw. die Verwendung ist honorarfrei. Wir freuen uns über die Zusendung eines Belegexemplars.














Classic brake discs made of grey cast iron (painted silver in the photo in the background) release finest metal particles through abrasion, which pollute the environment as fine dust. The ANS tribo-conditioning (light grey surface of the segment in the foreground), on the other hand, enables an almost wear-free braking system. The segment shows the innovative material concept (dark MMC layers on a conventional aluminium carrier layer in the middle).









With the help of MMC technology from Sigma Materials, extremely compact and highly resilient composite materials can be created. The light areas on the micrograph consist of an aluminium-titanium matrix, while the dark spots are ceramic hard particles. While conventional aluminium alloys typically melt at 560°C, this material remains stable up to over 1,000°C.

Register for the professional education course on Metal-Cutting Finishing Methods organized by Chalmers University in Sweden. This course gives the participant an applied knowledge about the various finishing operations used as the final step in the manufacture of precision components. It is founded on an in-depth understanding of the important role that surface integrity plays in the performance of components. Mechanochemical processes will be covered by ANS CTO, Dr. Boris Zhmud, on May 25th, 2021.



This week marks the start of “EffiGears” – a new Eurostars project where ANS are teaming up with Otec Präzisionsfinish GmbH, Optosurf GmbH, KTH Royal Institute of Tech and Lund Technical University.

The project will focus on increasing gear efficiency in EV transmissions by Triboconditioning® CG. The unique properties of Triboconditioning® CG have already showed great potential for such applications by providing reduced friction, wear and acoustic emissions.

ANS has signed a development Licence Agreement with one of the world’s largest automotive OEM’s. The customer has already started development work on several different applications for both internal combustion engines, hybrids and EV drive systems. The Triboconditioning® platform is already operational at the customer site.

From ANS’s side we are of course very happy and proud that one of the worlds most renowned automotive companies has chosen to develop its current and future product portfolio based on the Triboconditioning® platform.

Applied Nano Surfaces was recently informed by the SAE Editorial Team that its technical paper entitled “Mastering the Art of Cylinder Bore Honing” has been rated as one of the best papers presented for the Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants 2020 meeting. This paper was co-authored by Applied Nano Surfaces associates Boris Zhmud (Chief Technical Officer) and David Chobany (Technology and Sales Director – Americas).  Due to the papers high rating it has now been selected to appear in the 2021 edition of the “SAE International Journal of Advances and Current Practices in Mobility” which is SAE’s online journal celebrating the very best papers from various technical events.

SAE International, previously known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, is a U.S.-based, globally active professional association and standards developing organization for engineering professionals in various industries. Principal emphasis is placed on global transport industries such as aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicles. Accordingly, the name SAE International was established to reflect the broader emphasis on mobility.

SAE International has over 138,000 global members. Aside from its standardization efforts, SAE International also devotes resources to projects and programs in STEM education, professional certification, and collegiate design competitions.

The original paper can be viewed through the ANS document library or by visiting the SAE to purchase a copy here:



It’s all about Friction

The Triboconditioning technology from Applied Nano Surfaces (ANS) was highlighted in the January-March 2021 edition of Engine Professional magazine.  The article is entitled “It’s all about Friction” and appears on pages 70-78. The article is authored by David Chobany, Technology and Sales Director-Americas for Applied Nano Surfaces.

Engine professional magazine is the prime publication of the AERA Engine Builders Association.  AERA is the preeminent technical resource and industry voice for internal combustion engine builders, re/manufacturers, machine shops, OEMs, suppliers and service providers worldwide. Established in 1922, they are the industry’s oldest and most authoritative organization, serving an international membership made up of thousands of small and large businesses serving industries ranging from mining and manufacturing to Formula 1 racing.

Link to article:





As the holiday season approaches, ANS would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We thank you for your support throughout the year and wish you all a safe and prosperous 2021.


In a recent article published in the magazine for industrial design, the new process Triboconditioning® CG for complex geometries is described. ANS achieves unique features of the surface in terms of smoothness as well as chemical and microstructural composition of the utmost material layer. This results is significant reduction of friction and wear and enables an optimization of parts, which are otherwise difficult to treat with Triboconditioning®, e.g. gears, cam lobes or sheet metal stampings.

In einem in der November-Ausgabe 2020 des Magazin für den Konstruktionsingenieur veröffentlichten Artikel wird das neue Verfahren Triboconditioning® CG für komplexe Geometrien beschrieben. ANS erzielt einzigartige Eigenschaften der Oberfläche in Bezug auf die Rauheit sowie die chemische und mikrostrukturelle Zusammensetzung der äußersten Materialschicht. Dies führt zu einer signifikanten Reduzierung von Reibung und Verschleiß und ermöglicht eine Optimierung von Teilen, die sonst nur schwer mittels Triboconditionieren® zu behandeln sind, wie z.B. Zahnräder, Nocken oder Blechstanzteile.

Link to article:


We are pleased to announce that we have started cooperation with CEVT on improving electric vehicle transmissions within the Swedish FFI framework. In this program, ANS will help CEVT to increase efficiency and drive range by applying the new Triboconditioning® CG treatment on gears in order to minimize friction losses as well as maximizing wear resistance. Further, the Triboconditioning® CG treatment also aims at improving the vehicle’s NVH characteristics by reducing annoying noise coming out of the gearbox. The BEV drivers will thus enjoy a nice and silent ride.









In support of its offering for friction reduction and wear resistant surface treatment technologies including Triboconditioning®, Triboconditioning® CG, TriboNite® and Tricolit®, ANS is pleased to announce that Mr David Chobany has been appointed to the position of Technology and Sales Director for the Americas.

Mr. Chobany has over 25 years of substantial hands-on experience and expertise in advanced precision bore finishing and honing technologies designed to produce technical/functional surface structuring and bore geometry/size control. He is a subject matter expert in machining processes relating to precision surface structuring and has authored many technical articles including topics such as, flexible/agile bore finishing on CNC platforms, and engine cylinder bore perfection. As a Senior Member of the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Mr. Chobany has presented to many of the world’s leading technical organizations including SME, IMTS, SAE, PMTS and STLE.

He has worked within the global OE and Tier 1 network supporting machining advances in the engine/powertrain, gear, hydraulics, aerospace and energy sectors, among others.  Past experiences include Business Development Manager for Sunnen Products Company, Vice President of Bates Technologies (formerly Micromatic Textron), Deputy CEO of EFI (a critical health and safety composites manufacturer), and Director of Engineered Products for a large electrical distribution agency.

Mr. Chobany will lead the company’s efforts to commercialize ongoing projects, create new business opportunities and establish strategic and developmental partnerships within the Americas region. Offices to support these efforts are strategically located in the Midwest region of the USA.  To learn more of these efforts please contact David Chobany.

Contact information

David Chobany

Technology and sales Director for the Americas

Applied Nano Surfaces

+1 (765) 425-2741