£250,000 grant for Bicester firm to market new coating

Submitted photo.''Components being loaded in Hardide reactor for coating.''Hardide, Bicester.
Submitted photo.''Components being loaded in Hardide reactor for coating.''Hardide, Bicester.
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A Bicester firm has won a grant of up to £250,000 to get an advanced new coating on the market.

Advanced surface coating specialist Hardide Coatings, based in Wedgwood Road, has secured a grant of up to a quarter of a million pounds through the Technology Strategy Board’s Smart scheme.

The coating will enable a new generation of materials for use in the oil and gas, mining and construction industries.

Philip Kirkham, CEO of Hardide Coatings, said: “It has the potential to unlock new drilling and cutting capabilities which will be of extremely high value to users.

“Laboratory development has been under way for the past five years.”

He said the Smart grant would allow Hardide to establish a prototype manufacturing facility at its plant in Bicester, and fast-track the project to conclusion in two years.

The ‘development of prototype’ grant will help fund a two-year project to develop, manufacture and test the new coating, which will let drilling tools and high-wear parts to operate in harsh environments where current technologies fail.

Offshore drilling is one of the main markets for the technology.

Oil and gas drilling 
environments are becoming increasingly hostile as exploration and production moves to deeper and harsher waters to exploit remaining reserves.

The Technology Strategy Board’s Smart scheme gives funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for research and development in science, engineering and 
technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge.