At the global level, the effects of corrosion are significant and profound, and until recently, too, the negative effects of corrosion coatings on our environment and on the health and safety of people. The arrival of innovative and environmentally friendly additives is expected to be great news for economies, industry, and ecosystems.
INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENT
Corrosion causes financial losses for industries and economies, as well as public health and safety issues related to corrode metals and toxin release. Exposure to many conventional coatings and paints, however, poses risks to health, safety, and the environment. The EU-funded ADDPRIME project has developed environmentally friendly anti-corrosion additives based on smart nanomaterials to address these globally important challenges. Major markets, particularly those in the automotive and aerospace industries, are expected to benefit significantly.
A healthy formula for guaranteed success Chromium and its compounds, including hexavalent chromium, are used as corrosion prevention products, this usage has been widespread for decades. Realizing that these compounds are carcinogenic to humans and toxic to aquatic and botanical organisms has gradually led to the emergence of international guidelines and even to a limitation of their use – without prohibiting them.
This dichotomy illustrates in part that it is difficult to find an environmentally friendly, efficient and cost-effective alternative, which means that the impact of a total ban would be devastating for global markets. All this could change thanks to high-end additives ADDPRIME, without chromium, used as protection against corrosion. Nuno Nogueira, the coordinator of the project, explains: “Smart materials, based on micro and nanotechnologies, store and release carefully selected active ingredients to stop the degradation processes that occur in most metals.
They have the ability to immobilize, transport and release active compounds in a controlled manner, with proven environmental benefits. “ADDPRIME additives provide superior corrosion protection with their intelligent, multifunctional materials. These materials reinforce the protective barrier, which means they reduce the direct exposure of the underlying metal to oxygen, water, and other corrosive substances. They release corrosion inhibitors in a controlled manner while capturing aggressive ions. Finally, the buffering action they exert on the pH reduces the effects of acidic or basic local environments on the induction of corrosion.
A proven effect on performance with low environmental impact ADDPRIME additives has been developed in collaboration with a handful of customers in each of the two target markets, the automotive and aerospace sectors. According to Nogueira, “the validation of their needs and willingness to pay for ADDPRIME has allowed the team to adapt the product criteria to these needs and to improve the range of applications of ADDPRIME”.
The team has demonstrated the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of producing these materials on an industrial scale and is currently developing a network of partners testing the products for the launch of a pilot study. ADDPRIME provided the results of the feasibility study as well as a business plan including the marketing and marketing strategy.
Money is king overall cost of corrosion has been estimated at $ 2.5 trillion, which equates to more than 3% of global GDP in 2013. The excellent performance of ADDPRIME additives used in small quantities can lead to significant cost savings and extend the life of metal structures – all with a low environmental impact.
While ADDPRIME is developing strategic partnerships to expand its presence in the global smart materials coatings market, the company is able to simultaneously provide a solution to the dilemma regarding the mandatory removal of chromium-based compounds.
These results could pave the way for environmentally and public health policies while supporting the competitiveness of the corrosion coatings industry and the industries that depend on them.