Removing Chromium by 2013 - Development of New Anti-Corrosion Coatings

Indestructible Paint Ltd (www.indestructible.co.uk) is a specialist coatings manufacturer supplying the aerospace and defence industry faced with the challenge of delivering equivalent or better anti-corrosion protection to this customer base within the EU regulatory timeframe.

The Challenge

CrVI is a bio-available toxin, proven dangerous to the environment and human and animal life and under EU regulation (the REACH directive) must be removed from product formulations by 2013.

The complex chemistry involved in reformulating anti-corrosion coatings depends critically on the developer's ability to understand the interfacial phenomena occurring between the various formulation ingredients within the coating, between the coating ingredients and the substrate layer(s) and between the coating ingredients and the corrosion challenge. All of these issues can be informed by surface characterization techniques which are able to deliver understanding in terms of both the chemistry and the physical form of particular coating systems.

What We Delivered

Working in partnership with Indestructible Paint Ltd, Ceram carried out a critical technology review covering both the current chromium containing coatings and the range of potential alternative systems likely to afford similar galvanic protection. The matrix structure and the curing conditions are critical to the development of the active species in terms of anti-corrosion performance, strength of bonding to the substrate and coating durability in service. In particular the process conditions leading to the required oxidation state of the chromium, or of any alternative metal, and its preservation within the matrix which are equally important in terms of achieving the desired level of galvanic activity, and hence corrosion protection, were identified.

Value to the Customer

The review established the critical features that would need to be included in the reformulation project in terms of the essential chemical and microstructural features together with the process critical factors. This information was used successfully by Indestructible Paint Ltd to secure R&D funding for the subsequent reformulation project.

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