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NANOCONTAINER-BASED ACTIVE COATINGS FOR MARITIME APPLICATIONS

Final Report Summary - NANOMAR (NANOCONTAINER-BASED ACTIVE COATINGS FOR MARITIME APPLICATIONS)

The main goal of NANOMAR project was the development of a new generation of “smart” bifunctional coatings that combine the self-healing anticorrosion ability with antifouling properties for offshore applications such as oil-mining platforms and windmill farms. The main scientific approach on which this project was based was the controlled release of the active species (corrosion inhibitor and biocide agent, respectively) from nanostructured receptacles (nanocontainers) in damaged zones of the coating.
The NANOMAR project was a highly innovative and interdisciplinary project which employed ideas, concepts and approaches lying beyond well-established research itineraries. Two groups of the consortium (MPIKG from Germany and ICRAS from Russia) are experts in the encapsulation technology and development of the micro- and nanocontainers. The other two groups (UAVR from Portugal and IPT from Brazil) are well-known in corrosion protection, developing and testing of the coatings (also on industrial scale) and elucidation of the corrosion protection mechanisms.
During the course of the project researchers were involved on the screening of corrosion inhibitor for carbon steel, as there are not many compounds available to provide active corrosion protection to this metallic substrate under aggressive neutral conditions as those found in offshore applications. After a preliminary selection of inhibitors, these active species were encapsulated within different micro and nanocontainers capable of releasing the compounds when stimulated by different triggers (mesoporous inorganic particles and nanocapsules, nanoclays, polymeric capsules). The release profiles were obtained for different systems and this information used to infer on compatibility between coating formulations and the containers during coating process stages. Biocides were also encapsulated using different inorganic and organic reservoirs and fully characterized by different techniques.
The resulting nanoadditives with anticorrosion and antifouling activity were subsequently tested within different coating formulations to prepare first the so-called monofunctional coatings. The resulting systems were investigaed using electrochemical techniques standard accelerated tests (assessment of anticorrosion performance) and exposure in offshore platforms (assessment of antifouling performance). From the comprehensive list of systems tested, the most promising ones were combined in the form bifunctional coating systems aiming at achieve both corrosion protection and antifouling efficacy and were subjected to in-service offshore conditions in a platform.
The next step is to take this collaborative project between research institutions to the next level: the most promising bifunctional systems will be selected for industrial implementation.

The NANOMAR project allowed the participating teams to reinforce already existing research links thereby enhancing scientific cooperation. This project is assumed to be a good starting point for establishing a long-term collaboration over the continents between Russia, Portugal, Brazil and Germany in the field of controlled nanocontainer systems and active coatings. Due to the interdisciplinary character of the involved topics, such collaborations covered a broad range of aspects from, encapsulation techniques, to polyelectrolyte assembly and sonochemistry, utilization of containers with controlled permeability for “intelligent” coatings, electrochemical characterization, validation with industrial standard testing. The collaboration was realized in different forms:
-exchange of scientific information and technologies via writing common papers and presenting the results in scientific conferences and local meetings;
-continuous transfer of knowledge to young scientists by involving them in the scientific work in different laboratories (scientists exchange and training).

The project impact is directly related to the expertise of research teams from UAVR, IPT, ICRAS and MPIKG, unique infrastructure available in the research institutions involved in the project, and enhanced transfer of knowledge, experimental experience and know-how attained through the exchange program. Research results gained during the project, combined with the practical testing of the resulting bifunctional antifouling/anticorrosion coatings on sea platform in Brazil, will serve as the solid foundation for progress towards development of new generation of active coatings for maritime application The collaborative networking established in frame of NANOMAR lead to the increase of the competitive power of partners in the current research landscape at conditions of the increased globalization of R&D. The sustainable development of society strongly depends on the progress in the energy sector. One of the potential sources of renewable energy is wind power and the offshore wind-farms are considered today as a very promising contribution to the energy problem for the countries with high offshore potential. Therefore, the development of new “smart” materials for offshore applications is within a context of "global responsibility".