Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials will be presenting a new composite material that prevents metal corrosion even in extreme conditions.
The patented composite product can be applied by spraying and cures at 150–200°C. It is suitable for steels, metal alloys, aluminium, magnesium and copper and can be used to coat any shape of plates, pipes, gear wheels, tools or machine parts. The specially formulated mixture contains a solvent, a binder and nanoscale and platelet-like particles; it does not contain chromium VI or other heavy metals.
The environmentally friendly process can be used wherever metals are exposed to severe weather conditions, aggressive gases, media containing salt, heavy wear or high pressures. The protective particles arrange themselves like roof tiles, with layers placed on top of each other in an offset arrangement.
The result is a self-organised, highly structured barrier just a few micrometers thick and prevents penetration by gases and electrolytes. It provides protection against corrosion caused by aggressive aqueous solutions, including for example salt solutions found on roads and in the sea, or aqueous acids such as acid rain. The protective layer is an effective barrier, even against corrosive gases or under pressure.
After thermal curing, the composite adheres to the metal substrate, is abrasion-stable and impact-resistant. As a result, it can withstand high mechanical stress. The coating passes the falling ball test with a steel hemispherical ball weighing 1.5 kg from a height of one metre without chipping or breaking and exhibits only slight deformation, which means that the new material can be used even in the presence of sand or mineral dust without wear and tear.
The Institute will be at the TechConnect World trade fair on 15 and 16 June in Washington DC, USA, where it will be working in cooperation with the VDI Association of German Engineers to showcase this material along with its other latest developments at Stand 301 in the German Area.