About Co-Pilot


The field of nanocomposites materials has witnessed remarkable progress in recent years with many different types of nanocomposites exhibiting radically enhanced properties for a wide range of industrial applications. In order to enable SMEs to enter this crucial stage of the research-development-innovation cycle, the European Commission has challenged larger enterprises and research and technological organisations to get together in order to provide a coordinated network of pilot lines, test and validation services for SMEs.

The Co-Pilot consortium took this challenge and is now developing an open access infrastructure for companies interested in the production of high quality (multi-)functional nano-composites on a pilot scale. The pilot reactor will be able to produce batch sizes of nano-composite polymers and coatings in the range of 20 to 100 kg’s. The development of the pilot plant infrastructure will be achieved by including different types of nano-composites as model systems. Online-monitoring during the pilot-manufacturing process will allow following the nano-particle dispersion quality.

Pilot line

The pilot will be available in two sizes, located in two locations:

  • TNO in Eindhoven, 15 liter scale
  • Fraunhofer in Wurzburg, 100 liter scale
  • The reactors will consist of the reactor, completed with analytical instruments and downstream processing (centrifuge).



The following industrial nanocomposite applications will be demonstrated within Co-Pilot:

  • flame and smoke inhibiting polymer materials (LDH)
  • acid scavenging used as anti-corrosion and in polymer stabilisation (LH)
  • heat isolating plastics (hollow/porous silica)
  • light-weight flame inhibiting composites (layered hydroxides combined with hollow/porous silica)
  • UV protective polymer coatings (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide)
  • high refractive index, visually transparent polymer (titanium dioxide)
  • low-refractive index polymer (hollow/porous silica)
  • anti-glare polymer coatings (hollow/porous silica)
  • magnetic recoverable catalyst nano-composite beads (magnetite).

General information

Project short name: CoPilot
Project full title: Flexible pilot scale manufacturing of cost-effective nanocomposites through tailored precision nanoparticles in dispersion
Contract number: 645993
Start Date: 1 / 1 / 2015
Duration: 36 months
Coordinator: TNO