Vitaliy Belyaev, Professor of Chemistry, Chief Executive of Special Technologies LLC
Special Technologies LLC was founded in 2002. It traces its origin to the researchers and scientists in high-temperature electrochemistry and physics of metals from the Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The initial goal for the newly created company was to realize the research and development potential accumulated by Russian scientists. Many of those projects could have been introduced into serial production. The necessary experience in implementation of innovative solutions had been acquired in venture companies in Japan and South Korea (ITAC Ltd., Shinko-Pantec, and Nagata-seiki). At the turn of the century the future members of Special Technologies LLC used to take extended trips to these countries and companies. It transpired that the vast majority of innovation technologies of Japanese and Korean corporations with world-famous names had been acquired from Russia. Our country has acted as a partner of (or, perhaps we should say, a donor for) those corporations in the development of advanced technical solutions. Suffice it to say, for example, that ITAC Ltd was conducting its business exclusively through promotion of Russian scientific developments, to this end inviting professional scientists from Yekaterinburg, Tomsk and Novosibirsk. In particular, the ideas of Urals scientists from the Institute of Physics of Metals provided the basis for the diamond-like coating used in videotape-recorder heads by Samsung Electronics. This technology later became known in Russia under the name "Diamond Head".
The production history of Special Technologies LLC began with the release of the liquid ceramic heat-insulating coating Isollat. Currently we produce 7 grades of this coating, which differ in their operating characteristics. In 2012 another heat-insulating material based on silicone airgel granules — Aerollat was launched into serial production. This material has extremely low heat-conductive features.
A separate direction in the development of Special Technologies is fulfilment of works on application of DLC coatings. The technique of plasma pulse sputtering of graphite in a vacuum chamber that we developed ( protected by Russian patent for invention, RF No. 2360032) is a unique technology for high-tech industries. The process of deposition of such coatings is inherently related to the field of nanotechnology, as the coating thickness obtained varies from a few angstroms and nanometers to several micrometers. Total thickness of the coating is from a few fractions of a micrometer to several micrometers, and the required microhardness value, which is close to diamond hardness, is reached at the thickness of the order of 1.0 μm and higher.
A multilayer coating of complex composition that we developed proved capable of withstanding the enormous mechanical loading that is encountered during operation. This allowed us to solve the most challenging task related to diamond-like coatings — the provision of good adhesion of the high-strength coating to all kinds of surfaces, including high-alloyed steels for the production of instruments and tools. A diamond-like coating applied to metal cutting tools could increase service life several times over — from a factor of 5 to one of 20, depending on the material being processed. The application of DLC coatings is especially important for tools and equipment that work in contact with ductile metals: aluminum, copper, nickel, titanium, and magnesium alloys. The unique nature of the technology and the high demand it generates are key to successful development of its industrial application. And it is not by a chance that for several years of company activity, Special Technologies has acquired customers from amongst the largest domestic machine building and aircraft engineering companies: Irkut Corporation, VSMPO-AVISMA, Urals Gas Centrifuge Plant, and Tomsk Instrument Plant.
The achievements of Special Technologies LLC in the introduction of innovation technologies have been recognised at the all-Russian competition "100 Best Companies in Innovation and Scientific Development" in 2010, according to the results of which the company was awarded a gold medal.
We believe that the future of Russia depends on successful innovation and consistent redirection of existing production capacity to the standards of high technologies. In this lies is the future of Russian and we should be building this future even today.