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Multifunctional smart inhibitors for anti-corrosive coatings, enabling a significant reduction of maintenance costs on metallic surfaces

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Eco-friendly smart materials enhance corrosion protection cost-effectively

The global impacts of corrosion are significant and far-reaching, and until recently, so were the negative effects of anti-corrosion coatings on our environment as well as human health and safety. Innovative eco-friendly additives should be good news for economies, industry and ecosystems.

Climate Change and Environment
Industrial Technologies

Corrosion creates financial loss for industries and economies as well as public health and safety concerns related to corroded metals and release of toxins. However, exposure to many traditional coatings and paints creates health, safety and environmental risks. The EU-funded ADDPRIME project has developed environmentally friendly anti-corrosion additives based on smart nanomaterials to address these globally important challenges. Large markets, including those within the automotive and aerospace industries, are likely to benefit significantly. A healthy formula for success Chromium and its compounds, including hexavalent chromium, have been used ubiquitously as corrosion-preventative compounds for decades. Gradually, knowledge that these compounds are carcinogenic to humans and toxic to aquatic and botanic life has led to international guidance and even limitation of their use – without banning it. In part, the dichotomy reflects the difficulty in coming up with an eco-friendly, effective and cost-efficient alternative, meaning the impact of a total ban on global markets would be devastating. All that could be changing thanks to ADDPRIME’s trademarked chromium-free premium additives for corrosion protection. As project coordinator Nuno Nogueira explains, “The smart materials, based on micro- and nanotechnologies, store and release active ingredients carefully selected to stop the degradation processes that occur in most metals. They have the ability to immobilise, transport and release active compounds in a controlled way with proven environmental benefits.” ADDPRIME’s additives deliver superior corrosion protection due to their multifunctional smart materials. The materials increase barrier protection, meaning they decrease direct exposure of the underlying metal to oxygen, water and other corrosive substances. They enable controlled release of corrosion inhibitors while capturing aggressive ions. Finally, they have a pH buffering action to decrease the effects of acidic or basic local environments on corrosion induction. Proven effect on performance with low environmental impact ADDPRIME’s additives were developed in concert with a handful of customers in each of two target markets, the automotive and aerospace sectors. According to Nogueira, “Validating their needs and willingness to pay for ADDPRIME enabled the team to adjust the product criteria to these needs and enhance the application range of ADDPRIME.” The team has demonstrated the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of producing the materials on an industrial scale and is currently expanding a network of partners testing the products to start a pilot study. ADDPRIME has delivered the results of the feasibility study along with a business plan including the marketing and commercialisation strategy. Money talks The global cost of corrosion has been estimated at USD 2.5 trillion, equivalent to more than 3 % of global GDP in 2013. Excellent performance of ADDPRIME’s additives in small quantities enables important cost savings and extends the lifetime of metallic structures – all with a low environmental impact. As ADDPRIME develops strategic partnerships to expand reach in the global coatings market for smart materials, the company may simultaneously deliver the solution to the dilemma regarding mandated elimination of chromium compounds. Outcomes could pave the way to policies that are respectful of the environment and public health while supporting the competitiveness of the corrosion-protective coatings industries and the industries they serve.


ADDPRIME, corrosion, additives, environmental, smart materials, chromium, coatings, automotive, aerospace, metals, corrosive, nanomaterials, inhibitors, metallic

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