Polymers Provide Corrosion Protection
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Polymers Provide Corrosion Protection


Polymers Provide Corrosion Protection

Electro-active polymers (EAP) which have been developed only since the 1970s may provide a new class of high performance corrosion protection coatings to replace toxic chromate coatings. EAPs can be applied to steel and aluminium as a corrosion preventive coating to stop corrosion on the metal substrate under cracks, chips or scratches.

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) researcher Dr Tan Truong won the 1999 Marshall Fordham Research Paper Award by the Australasian Corrosion Association for work on EAPs. He and colleagues in Maritime Platforms Division in Melbourne coated magnesium with a mixture of DSTO's electroactive polypyrrole (PPy) powder and acrylic paint. The samples were then scratched to expose the bare metal before being exposed to the test environment. Salt spray tests demonstrated that the paint containing PPy coated magnesium samples showed insignificant corrosion and little blistering in a salt spray chamber for exposure up to 2000 hours. In contrast, the control sample, coated with the paint only, failed at 200 hours exposure. The coating can be applied to items made of magnesium, to reduce saltwater corrosion.

Tan Truong at DSTO Melbourne

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