The global production of steel is in the range of 1400M tons, worth nearly €1trillion. The steel demand in Europe in 2011 was estimated to be 145M tons, of which 39M tons p.a. for the construction sector and 16M tons p.a. for structural steel. Most of this steel is carbon or mild steel (as opposed to stainless steel) which corrodes at a high rate and although there are a significant number of anticorrosion solutions on the market, protective coating is most widely used, thanks to its low cost and high versatility. Often, an anticorrosion primer is applied just after manufacturing of steel in order to prevent rusting during storage and transportation before fabrication (cut,weld,drill,etc). Most anticorrosion primers last max 6 month due to poor quality or mechanical damage resulting in corrosion. Additionally, these anticorrosion primers are often too thick (~50μm) preventing weld quality, so time consuming localised grinding is done to remove the primer. If the primer is thin enough (~25μm) to allow welding, its anticorrosion properties are so limited, not reducing the risk of corrosion. Above all, the increased zinc content in the weldable primer formulation in order to achieve the anti-corrosion property result in health hazards and discomfort during fabrication process as it releases significant amount of zinc fumes. Alternatively, primers are simply not used at all but the expensive and hazardous blast cleaning of steel is carried out before fabrication which may sometimes be too late that it results in huge material waste and cost. The problem to be solved is the inability of the weldable primer produced today to allow both good quality welding and durable corrosion protection without health hazards.
The WeldaPrime project proposes an innovative approach for a zinc free corrosion protection primer with an optimum thickness and affordable cost, offering durable corrosion protection, resistant to mechanical damage and weldable without zinc fumes.
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME-AG - Research for SME associations/groupings