Current projects at CEST

graphicing Logo



In the scope of the GRAPHICING project (funded by the European Union, Horizon 2020 CleanSky programm) advanced functional lightweight materials, based on graphene related materials (GRM) and systems with the capability for more efficient integration into aircraft structures are developed. These are thermoelectric Ice protection systems (IPS) essential for aircraft safety by avoiding in-flight icing enabling also for other integrated functionalities: by ensuring sufficient electrical and thermal conductivity and fine tuning of GRM, resistivity against lightning strikes, fire retardancy and water impermeability of the resulting composite with minimized GRM additions can be also realized. Expected primary impact are more competitive aircraft components with higher integration capability and lower weight resulting therefore in less fuel consumption and less CO2 emission (up to 2% annually).


Project partners: Villinger R&TD GmbH (A), VZLU Czech Aerospace Centre (CZ), Topic manager: Leonardo SpA (I)


Project Manager: Peter Velicsanyi

CEST Surface

Metallization of additively manufactured components


Metallization of plastic components can significantly expand the application spectrum of FDM and SLA components. Metallization can add further properties to the component (conductivity of the surface, resistance to external influences, reflectivity of the surface or decorative elements). We are working on suitable pretreatment and coating processes for polymer-based AM components.


We deal with the following questions:

  • Autocatalytic coatings and pretreatment
  • Adhesion
  • Thermal expansion compared to the component
  • Conductivity
  • Other metal deposits
  • Selective surface coating

Project Manager: Lidija Rafailovic

Corrosion Machine Learning

Machine Learning and Corrosion


Corrosion is a ubiquitous phenomenon that is of great importance for the economy, as every year values of about 5% of GDP are destroyed by corrosion. Ways to detect corrosion and its effects are therefore of great interest to industry and society. For example, the safety of bridges could be continuously investigated and corrosion-related material fatigue could be detected in time before accidents happen.


Corrosion phenomena and their phenomenology will be investigated using machine learning algorithms. To this end, existing data such as photos and electronic measurement data will be correlated with chemical data to develop concrete prediction and detection models. The aim of the project is to detect corrosion at an early stage, to distinguish different types of corrosion and to obtain predictions about the future service life of components and products.


Project leader: Bernhard Lutzer


DIHOST – Digital Innovation Hub East


The inter-state DIHOST consortium consists of six RTO institutions from Lower Austria, Vienna and Burgenland, which have jointly developed a comprehensive service programme to increase the transformation capacity and transformation speed of small and medium-sized enterprises in Eastern Austria towards digital innovations.


The DIHOST concept focuses on three technological priority areas: 3D printing – Blockchain & IT security – IOT, sensor technology & connectivity, each with a differentiated offer in the field of information & awareness raising, further education and digital innovations.


In addition, services are offered in the “Cross-Section Start” section and under “Cross-Section Topics & Special Applications”. Overall, DIHOST aims primarily at initiating concrete SME implementation projects.


Participating SMEs can call up individual service packages from the start to the digital innovation project and to the transformation of the company in order to tackle the start into the digital transformation and to implement their own digital innovation projects accompanied by the DIHOST partners. DIHOST can use the “Virtual House of Digitisation” of the Lower Austrian Digitisation Offensive as a central networking instrument.


The federal provinces of Lower Austria and Burgenland have pledged further regional funding for DIHOST services.


The regional chambers of commerce in Lower Austria, Vienna, Burgenland and Upper Austria will support DIHOST in addressing regional SMEs nationwide via their communication channels.


Project leader: Bernhard Lutzer

Cest Tulln



(Bio-)sensors play an increasingly important role in our networked world. Since three of the human senses can already be detected by sensors (hearing, seeing, feeling), the project will create the possibility to also detect the sense of smell by means of sensors. By coupling optical (SPR) and electronic methods a setup will be established, which will be able to characterize odours by means of pattern recognition and the embedding of odour proteins and odour receptors.

The most important research points are:

  • Surface Treatment and Biofunctionalization
  • Optimization of stability by means of passivation layers
  • Construction and networking of a suitable measurement setup
  • Expression and modification of odour proteins
  • Construction of membranes on the detection platforms
  • Implementation of olfactory receptors


Project Manager: Philipp Fruhmann


State-of-the-art methods for the analysis of corrosion processes


In order to understand corrosion processes, measurement methods with high precision and spatial resolution are necessary. We develop and evaluate suitable sensors and methods for the study of corrosion in aqueous media as well as for the investigation of atmospheric corrosion processes.

The focus is on the following:

  • Ion-selective microsensors (pH, oxygen, hydrogen, metal ions)
  • Electrochemical Scanning Microscopy (SECM)
  • Focus Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy (SKPFM)
  • Functional hydrogels

Project Manager: Gabriela Schimo-Aichhorn


Ice repellent surfaces for aircraft


Ice formation causes major technical problems and high costs in many industrial sectors such as aviation, wind energy and power lines. Water- and ice-repellent coatings have already shown that they can fundamentally reduce ice formation and the adhesion of ice, e.g. to the leading edges of an aircraft wing. However, such coatings do not provide long-term protection due to erosion. A further improvement of the anti-ice and anti-erosion properties is still necessary to ensure lasting functionality.


The main objective of the LubRes project is to develop innovative, ice-repellent, functionalized coatings for aircraft that provide lasting protection against ice formation. Certain liquid films on surfaces show pronounced ice-repellent behaviour. The project investigates several ways to embed such liquids in a coating matrix in such a way that they gradually reach the surface over the lifetime of the coating and become effective there. In the event of damage to or partial erosion of the coating, as well as natural wear of the surfaces during operation, a fresh surface is formed.


Project Manager: Carmen Vladu

CR Free Real Logo

CleanSky project CrFreeReal


In 2024 the use of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) will be forbidden by REACH regulation. Many studies have been carried out to replace Cr(VI)-based coatings for lightweight metals such as aluminium and have resulted in the development of new protective layers (SAA, TSA, Cr(III)-conversion coating). However, the removal of protective oxide layers is still performed with Cr(VI)-based stripping processes. Cr(VI)-free stripping with NaOH leads to deterioration of the substrate if the process time exceeds the specification of the very narrow process window.


The Cr Free REAL project aims to develop an innovative process for Cr free removal of anodic layers and conversion layers, which does not deteriorate the aluminium substrate within an applicable process window. Commercially available or literature mentioned Cr(VI) free stripping agents will be tested and evaluated. In the proposed approaches, it is planned to develop innovative acidic or alkaline stripping agents containing additives. Corrosion inhibitors, accelerators, surfactants and complexants will be employed and the applicability on lab-scale and industrial samples will be evaluated.


This project is funded by the CleanSky-programme which is part of H2020 and is performed in collaboration with Mecaprotect in France.


Project Manager: Carmen Vladu


Surface modification of titanium-based implant material


Both micro- and nanotopography influence cell interaction. To influence that it is possible to nanostructure the titanium surface by using electrochemical methods. The self-organization of the titanium oxide can be controlled by the manifold variation possibilities of the manufacturing conditions. The topographical change thus opens up the control of cell interaction in favour of the human organism. On the one hand, the bone-implant interface is additionally enlarged and on the other hand, the self-organized cavities can be used as nanocontainers for antibiotic alternatives. By filling the nanotubes with antibacterially active substances, diffusion-controlled long-term protection can be achieved starting from the implant surface.


We deal with the following questions

  • Nanostructuring of the titanium surface
  • Nanocontainer- Drug Delivery System
  • New antibacterial coatings
  • Inhibition of biofilm formation

Project manager: Tzvetanka Boiadjieva-Scherzer

Mytilus with byssus

Quelle: Brocken Inaglory (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Biomimetic adhesives


The BIGLU project focuses on the development of bio-inspired adhesives. The model is an adhesive synthesized from mussels, based on proteins with the central molecule catechol.

The following questions will be addressed:


  • Adhesion of the polymer to different surfaces
  • Cohesion within the polymer
  • Bonding strength under dry and wet conditions
  • Influence of different metal ions on cohesion and adhesion


Project Manager: Markus Valtiner