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Ionix Looking for Partners

Ionix Advanced Technologies Limited, a company specialising in high performance piezoelectric devices, announced this month that it had received funding from IP Group plc. to accelerate the commercialisation of a range of sensors, actuators and transducer devices based on its novel high-temperature piezoelectric materials, including NDT inspection and ultrasonic applications.
 
Ionix’s devices have the potential to offer significant cost and energy savings, by facilitating more efficient and reliable process and inspection operations in extreme environments, where existing technology is unable to operate effectively.
  
Ionix is initially targeting applications where high temperature operation, up to 500 degrees C, provides a capability not offered by conventional piezoelectric devices. Initial target markets for these high temperature devices include industrial plant process, aerospace, oil and gas, and nuclear power, and represent a total market potential in excess of £500m per annum.
 
Ionix has also announced the appointment of Dr. David Astles as Chief Executive Officer. David Astles is a business leader with wide experience gained in Shell and latterly leading small company start-ups, and has a track-record of launching new products and technology in a wide range of industry sectors including chemical process, oil and gas, lubricants, mining and refining. 
 
Ionix are seeking further development partners motivated to work in collaboration directly or in grant-funded projects to develop devices based on its materials and to share the commercial benefits of this novel technology.
 
Background
A spin-out from the University of Leeds, Ionix has created a range of proprietary high performance piezoelectric materials that can operate in high temperature, high work environments, and that enable it to supply sensors, actuators and transducers which address applications and markets not accessible to existing piezoelectric systems. 
 
Professor Andrew Bell, from the University’s School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering (SPEME), headed the research: “Our materials work in environments where the conventional technology fails: high temperatures, high pressures, extreme shocks and high stress. In a gas turbine, for instance, if you want to put in a sensor to make sure nothing is going wrong, you need a piezoelectric material that can withstand extremely high temperatures, pressures or vibrations.”
 
The new materials, developed by Dr Tim Comyn and Dr Tim Stevenson in Professor Bell’s group, are compatible with existing manufacturing methods for piezoelectric ceramics and therefore can be mass-produced at similar cost to current materials. 
 
The materials are the subject of a number of international patent applications including reduced and zero-lead compositions.
Ionix materials typically benefit from high mechanical stiffness, low mass, improved mechanical strength and operating temperatures far exceeding that of conventional materials such as PZT. 
 
Piezoelectric ceramics are materials which when an electric voltage is applied causes a small change in the material’s dimensions and vice versa. Piezo-electrics have many applications: as actuators and motors in fuel injectors and robotics, as transducers employed in both medical and naval SONAR ultrasonic platforms. They can also be used for active vibration dampening, electronic frequency filters, transformers and as acoustic/vibration sensors.
 
If you got any ideas for the high temperature piezoelectric applications please contact: 
 
Dr. David Astles, 
Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd,
Innovation Centre,
103 Clarendon Road,
Leeds 
LS2 9DF
U.K. 
T: +44 (0)113 384 5720
E: contact@ionix.at
 
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