Thinner, less toxic than existing coatings; efficient and economical to produce
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a method for coating metal surfaces with an ultrathin film containing nanoparticles - particles measuring billionths of a meter - which renders the metal resistant to corrosion and eliminates the use of toxic chromium for this purpose. The scientists have been awarded U.S. Patent number 7,507,480 for their method and the corrosion-resistant metals made from it.
The coating can be made in a variety of ways suited to a particular application. In one embodiment, it starts as a liquid solution that can be sprayed onto the metal, or the metal can be dipped into it. The metal is then subjected to one or more treatment steps, sometimes including heating for a period of time, to trigger cross-linking reactions between the compounds, and simultaneously, to form corrosion-inhibiting metal oxide nanoparticles, such as environmentally benign cerium-based oxides.
This research was funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The technology is available for licensing.