Anti-corrosion Paint Could Be Industry Game Changer

A special corrosion-resistant compound being developed by James Cook University researchers could help solve a global ‘multi-trillion-dollar problem’ affecting everything from fighter jets to cargo ships.

JCU Distinguished Professor of Physical Sciences Peter Junk and his team hope to take their work to the next stage but require further support from industry to produce a paint using the compound that can be applied on surfaces prone to corrosion.

“It’s effectively a two-pronged attack at solving the corrosion problem. We’ve combined an organic corrosion inhibitor and a metal corrosion inhibitor into the one compound,” Prof. Junk said.

“In corrosion, you can have two things occurring in what’s called an oxidation-reduction reaction. The organic part of our compound inhibits oxidation of a surface and the metal part inhibits the reduction part.

“The idea is if we add a rather insoluble corrosion inhibitor into the paint, it will not get washed away by rain and will act as a slow-release mechanism of our compounds that will inhibit corrosion for a very lengthy period.

”We are confident this paint has the potential to solve the challenge of corrosion damage faced by several industries because we’ve see how successful the compound is in lubricants and cleaning materials used on mining vehicles.

“The cars and vehicles we did testing on went from lasting about last eight months to about three years.”

Prof. Junk said the compound had also been tested in recycled water systems in the lab, such as cooling towers, and in special polyurethane (plastic) coatings.

“We’ve been working on the broader project for 20 years and we are now looking at using this compound in hydrogen storage facilities because one of the problems with hydrogen storage is you have to store it under pressure in steel tanks,” Prof Junk said.

“The high pressure can get into the pores of the steel and start to corrode the tank but we now have a potential solution thanks to the development of this corrosive resistant paint concept.”

Industry groups wishing to partner with Prof. Junk and his team can email [email protected]

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