CORDIS - EU research results

Advanced environmentally friendly multifunctional corrosion protection by nanotechnology

Final Report Summary - MULTIPROTECT (Advanced environmentally friendly multifunctional corrosion protection by nanotechnology)

'Advanced environmentally friendly multifunctional corrosion protection by nanotechnology' (Multiprotect) is an integrated project with the objective to find replacements for hazardous, carcinogenic chromium (VI) based corrosion protection materials. The aim was the development of multifunctional, generally applicable and environmentally-friendly corrosion protection systems on the basis of nanostructured materials with nanoparticles as functional design elements.

The consortium mainly focused on four different research topics:

1. nanoparticle design and production
2. replacements for hard chromium
3. substitutions for chrome conversion coatings by sol-gel based coatings for aluminium alloys, steel and magnesium alloys and
4. doped, conductive polymers like polyaniline or polypyrrole for corrosions protection coatings.

These different fields of work were reflected by the structure of the project in seven workpackages and especially in the substructure of the workpackage 'development' in eight different sub packages (SP) dealing with the four main research topics assisted by four supporting SPs for detailed investigations on coating properties (tribology and surface properties), health and safety aspects and a modelling of the coating and coating behaviour.

During year three of the project, the Multiprotect consortium made a big step forward to the industrial applicability of the developed coating systems. Beside further optimisation of developed systems the technology phase was continued and three different protection materials (sol-gel based lacquers, protection systems based on conductive polymers and substitutions for hard chromium coatings) were transferred to the industrial partners for preindustrial testing. The most promising sol-gel base lacquer systems are now available in amounts of 2 to 5 L and were successfully tested for usability in industrial environments. All systems show good results and no hindrance for an industrial usage. Reproducible syntheses of VI-free hard coatings could be established and an up-scaling of the coating bath could be realised. The coatings show good distribution of the particles and high hardness. The demonstration phase was also started during the third project year. The industrial partners (from aircraft, automotive and construction industry) defined their demonstrators for the application of the developed coating materials and started with the first application tests of the new systems.

In parallel, the coating systems were checked for the release of hazardous materials to the environment. No release of toxic substances could be detected so far. The mathematical computer model of corrosion processes and self healing could be further developed. Comparison and fitting to experimental data were done in order to allow the description of the movement of inhibitors integrated in the coating.

Two internal training workshops were organised for the participants of the consortium and successfully implemented in Saarbruecken and San Sebastian.