Key Data

  • Acronym: HELMhelm
  • Name: High-frequency ELectro-Magnetic technologies for advanced processing of ceramic
    matrix composites and graphite expansion
  • Duration: 48 months (01.07.2012 | 30.06.2016)
  • Number of Partners: 20
  • Funding source: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 website)
  • Total Budget: €10.3M
  • Project webpage: www.helm-project.eu
  • Status: active



Lightweight ceramics and fibre reinforced ceramic composites, such as non-oxide Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) and Expanded Graphite (EG), represent very promising solutions for high temperature applications in strategic industrial sectors, such as transport and energy. In fact, these materials are one of topical priorities of the European Technology Platform EuMAT and a strategic issue of the EC Research Roadmap on Materials. Huge market opportunities are expected for CMC and EG provided to overcome the three major identified gaps: high cost, difficulty of processing and materials reliability. New and more efficient manufacturing technologies can pave the way to improve material quality, reduce processing time, converge towards near-net shape fabrication, trim energy spent and abate production costs. HELM will address these challenges by proposing innovative high-frequency electromagnetic, microwaves (MW) and radiofrequencies (RF), heating technologies for integrating and, in the long term, replacing standard thermal processing routes, i.e.: Chemical Vapour Infiltration (CVI), Liquid Silicon Infiltration (LSI), Polymer Impregnation and Pyrolysis (PIP), and Graphite Exfoliation (GE). MW/RF heating owns peculiar features (rapid selective bulk heating, reversed thermal gradients, more homogeneous heat distribution) that will enhance materials performance. It can bring 60% processing time reduction (or even higher), with subsequent trimming of production costs, and cut of energy consumption up to 50-60%.

HELM RTD activities involve some of the principal European experts in the field, including research institutes, innovative SMEs, and end-users for industrial validation. A full product assessment, including energy and cost evaluations, will be performed through proper Life Cycle Assessment and thermo-economical analysis. A risk assessment and management plan is included to mitigate innovation related risks and reduce the time to market of the new solutions.



  • INSTM – Consortium of Italian Universities for the Science and Technology of Materials (Italy) | Webpage
  • Warrant Group S.r.l (Italy) | Webpage
  • Erbicol SA* (Switzerland) | Webpage
  • Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland) | Webpage
  • Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain)| Webpage
  • Archer Technicoat Limited (United Kingdom) | Webpage
  • Sairem Iberica S.L. (Spain) | Webpage
  • Fricke und Mallah Microwave Technology GmbH (Germany) | Webpage
  • Fundacion CIRCE Centro de Investigation de Recursos y Consumos Energéticos (Spain) | Webpage
  • Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes Spa (Italy) | Webpage
  • EADS Deutschland GmbH (Germany) | Webpage
  • Petroceramics Spa (Italy) | Webpage
  • Schunk Kohlenstofftechnik GmbH (Germany) | Webpage
  • Safran Herakles (France) | Webpage
  • TIMCAL SA (Switzerland) | Webpage
  • CVT GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) | Webpage
  • Baltic State Technical University “VOENMEKH” (Russian Federation) | Webpage
  • Universidad de Alicante (Spain) | Webpage
  • Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies GmbH (Germany) | Webpage
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici (Italy) | Webpage


*: The project is carried out by Erbicol SA, the mother company of EngiCer SA.




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