Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New self-healing coating for aluminum developed to replace cancer-causing product

23.10.2012
University of Nevada, Reno research team finds elusive self-healing formulation for defense, aerospace

A research team at the University of Nevada, Reno has developed a new environmentally-friendly coating for aluminum to replace the carcinogenic chromate coatings used in aerospace applications. The chromate conversion coatings have been used for more than 50 years to protect aluminum from corrosion.

The team presented their research last week at the international Pacific Rim Meeting on Electrochemical and Solid-State Science in Hawaii.

"It was well received at the conference," Dev Chidambaram, lead scientist and assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Nevada, said. "There is no question that this will be able to replace the chromate-based coating. Even though the coating formulation is yet to be optimized, the coating has shown exceptional performance."

Attempts to replace chromate coatings with non-toxic coatings have been underway since the 1980s. The awareness on effects of chromates was brought to the forefront in 1993 by the real-life incident involving Erin Brokovich and depicted in the movie released in 2000 of the same name. Although the use of chromates for consumer and automotive applications has been banned, it is still in use by the defense and aerospace industries under various exemptions.

The carcinogenic coatings were exempted from the ban due to unavailability of suitable replacement combined with the high human and financial cost of failure from corrosion. The search for a suitable replacement has been elusive primarily due to one main characteristic of the coating referred to as "self-healing," the ability of the coating to heal itself after being damaged or scratched.

When scratched, the coating components from nearby sites migrate to the damaged region and re-protect the underlying alloy. A short video of the coating formation is on Chidambaram's website, www.electrochemical.org/ under the heading "Cool Videos."

Chidambaram's formulation performs comparably to the chromate formula in its ability for self-healing, which is important to the defense and aerospace industry. The coating can be applied to all aluminum products. The new formula creates an environmentally-benign molybdate-based coating that provides corrosion protection to aluminum, used for aircraft and spacecraft. These coatings, when damaged, will re-heal themselves.

The University of Nevada, Reno team developed and tested more than 300 coatings before arriving at this formulation. They used a complimentary suite of advanced surface analytical techniques such as Raman microspectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to conclusively prove the presence of molybdate in the scratched region. Further, using electrochemical testing, the team showed the coating re-protected itself via self-healing upon scratch test.

The team includes graduate student David Rodriquez, who conducted the extensive testing on the materials, and undergraduate aerospace engineering major at the University of Colorado, Boulder intern Roshan Misra, who began the project as a high school summer intern from Reno High School. The team is still working to optimize the coating formulation for even better protection.

"This has taken 14 years of work, continuing on work I did at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the Brookhaven National Laboratory," Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram, as the director of the University's Materials and Electrochemical Research Laboratory (MER Lab), has obtained nearly $3 million in externally-funded research grants in the past three years and directs eight doctoral students and one postdoctoral associate. He is also the director of the materials science and engineering graduate program and the Chemical and Materials Department in the College of Engineering.

Nevada's land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation's best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system's largest research program and is home to the state's medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation's largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.

Mike Wolterbeek | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unr.edu

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Harder 3D-printed tools – Researchers from Dresden introduce new process for hardmetal industry
11.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS

nachricht Flying High with VCSEL Heating
04.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>