Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

August 03, 2021

Quote of the week: “ I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy ” - Marie Skłodowska Curie, physicist/chemist (1867, Warsaw – 1934, Paris).

From The Editor's Corner

Learning from the best

Valuable experience in today's digital world

​The positive and negative effects of the Sars-Cov-2 have been mentioned more than enough, here, and elsewhere. Evidence of such in the Corrosionists field has been the changes in the modus operandi of the meeting points, in particular congresses and similar. This is the case of the 21st International Corrosion Congress, organized by the Brazilian Corrosion Association on behalf of the International Corrosion Council, which took place almost two weeks earlier. In principle, the summit was planned to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in May 2020. The barrier of the worldwide lockdown became a challenge for digitalization. Fortunately, ABRACO and the organizing committee achieved a unique and unexpected well-organized summit. It included positive facts as easier options of participation, considering the lower registration fees; the huge number of free registrations given to delegates from lower income countries; the elimination of travel and accommodation expenses and the excessive time involved in attending a congress in a distant venue; the active commercial fair with a high rate of visits to the boots; etc. On the other hand, the weaker aspects such as the limits of face-to-face networking; the apparent lack of confidence of the attendees to enter discussions about the presentations; the threat of out-of-date of many of the papers prepared for the initially programmed meeting, and their consequent downturn. Consequently, fewer participants attending this 21st ICC (542 attendants) compared to previous ICC summits. A reason for sharing a summary of some of the noteworthy speeches with the readers.

Forward knowledge

One of the more relevant facts of the 21st ICC was the presence of some of the more currently recognized Corrosionists as plenary or keynote speakers. The expectations generated by their participation were more than met. The following are the notes about some such stellar presentations:

Mitigation of flow-induced localized corrosion with corrosion inhibitors. Günter Schmitt, Institute for Maintenance and Corrosion Protection – IFINKOR. Germany. The mechanism of inhibitor action in fluid media, according to operating conditions, has been explained in detail. Mainly, the effect of the flow (disturbed or smooth) and the nature of the surfactants (nature, concentration, and stabilization) on the wall shear stress. Finally, according to an approach based on the “Freak energy density” developed in the author’s lab, the establishment of the critical stress for fracturing the scale and the progress of corrosion.

A new paradigm for designing corrosion resistant materials. Gerald Frankel, Fontana Corrosion Center – Ohio State University, USA. Faced with a challenge to prevent nuclear waste from leaking over 100,000 years, a new methodology is proposed for the design of the required materials and the modeling of their behavior, looking to optimize the selection of the materials. In metallic materials, the approach starts considering corrosion-resistant alloys like stainless steel and multi-principal element alloys. CALPHAD is used for modeling the expected phase and Pourbaix diagrams. The alloy is produced by processes such as arc melting plus heat treatment. Furthermore, calculations by first principles are used to estimate the metal-metal bond and the metal-oxygen bond, associated with the resistance to dissolution and the strength of the passive fil, respectively. Thus, in an inverse procedure, predicting the oxide film formation is possible to establish the most suitable alloy for the specific purpose.

A discussion about establishing a corrosion mechanism. Oscar Rosa Mattos, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In this case, the conference was geared towards demonstrating the importance of considering that kinetic facts are often crucial in the corrosion processes understanding. Consequently, electrochemical approaches require transient techniques instead of the stationary models supported on Tafel slope and linear polarization analysis considering the so-called Bockris mechanism. In some way, a conceptual limitation that ignores the contributions made since the 1970s by researchers like Eperlboin and Keddam about the role of kinetics in the complexity of the corrosion phenomena. A complete understanding of the transient processes happening in a corrosion phenomenon is essential for accurate modeling and management.

Role of surface films on hydrogen active-metal interactions-strategy for developing hydrogen embrittlement resistant alloys. VS Raja, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India. Considering the growing importance of hydrogen as the coming primary energy source, the interaction between hydrogen and materials becomes critical. The impact of hydrogen on corrosion processes, including hydrogen fragility, requires special attention. The interaction between hydrogen and the passivation film on steel and Al, Mg, and Ti alloys have been studied in the author’s lab. In principle, films can suppress the hydrogen evolution or result in damage by the gas. Consequently, proper handling of such interaction can achieve options for designing new alloys with good resistance to hydrogen deterioration.

The corrosion resistance and hydrophobic properties of electrodeposited Ni-Cu foams used as electrodes for supercapacitors. Randa Abdel-Karim, Cairo University, Egypt. Talking about a particular application of the corrosion principles, Professor Abdel-Karim presented her studies about the obtention and behavior of such material deposited on a stainless-steel substrate. Electrodeposition was done using the “hydrogen bubble templating mechanism” method. There was studied the effect of the composition (Ni, Cu, and Cr concentration), the time, and the current density on the nature of the foam. The coating characterization included surface roughness, electrochemical measurements (potentiodynamic, cyclic voltammetry, and EIS), chemical and morphological characterization by SEM-EDX and XRD, and contact angle measurements. The results demonstrated that increasing the deposition time and applied current density also increases the concentration of Ni in the nanofoam. This coating was crystalline and composed of pure Ni and a Ni-Cu-rich alloy. Longer deposition times led to superhydrophobic foams. The best anticorrosive behavior was obtained for porous Ni-Cu layers deposited at 1 A cm⁻² for 30 sec. In conclusion, a procedure for obtaining functional positive electrodes for supercapacitors has been developed.

Tailored strategies against corrosion of metallic cultural heritage. Emma Angelini, Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Italy. This talk was an integral updated overview of the results of Angelini’s interdisciplinary research group during several decades. A work that has been directed toward the preventive conservation of cultural heritage assets. Most of the time focused on the environmental corrosion threats, including light, humidity, pollutants, microorganisms, temperature, etc. Particular attention is being paid to emerging problems with global warming. Emphasis has been put on the monitoring of the environmental conditions. Consequently, several kinds of sensors have been developed, supported on consolidated techniques as electrochemical impedance, and using emerging technologies as smart buttons can send information online from the place of interest, indoors or outdoors, whether in Colombia, Egypt, or elsewhere, to the servers in the lab. Information that is relevant to the identification of corrosion processes and the establishment of tailored conservation methodologies.

Effective management of internal corrosion of pipelines. Jose Vera, DNV, USA. Considering that nearly 25% of the incidents with pipelines are related to corrosion, and about 50% of these are internal issues, a holistic corrosion management system was presented in oil and gas pipelines. This methodology focuses on essential aspects: threat identification and assessment, options of mitigation, and monitoring of the phenomena.

Sustainable and self-healing materials for corrosion protection. Mario Ferreira, University of Aveiro, Portugal. Inspired by nature, everyday biomimetic materials are becoming more and more valuable. Some of the applications in which it is sought to imitate what is seen in nature relate to corrosion-resistant coatings, one of the lines of research of the speaker. Ferreira showed a potpourri of specific behaviors reached until now, some of them currently used in industrial applications. Such developments include the ability of the coating self-healing, reducing the degradation and failure risks, and extending the span of life of the assets. Also, other sophisticated applications like coating can release the inhibitor in a controlled way; pH-responsive coatings; paint films able to trap chlorides and other deleterious substances; coatings with controlled anti-biofouling and antimicrobial activity; and coatings sensing changes in variables like pH or mechanical impact. In general, most of these new advances are environmentally friendly.

Crack tip mechano-chemistry and roles of hydrogen. Tetsuo Shoji, Frontier Research Initiative, New Industry Creation Hatchery Center, Tohoku University, Japan. Professor Shoji presented a possible mechanism of the synergistic interaction between mechanical and chemical processes simultaneously in many situations where stress corrosion cracking occurs. As usual, corrosion problems are not simple, and their better understanding needs a complex approach. This is the purpose of the study presented. Consider any mechanical aspects that may contribute to material degradation at the micro and macro levels (crystal structure, dislocations, grain boundaries, vacancies, yield strength, ductility, etc.), and, simultaneously, consider the effect of hydrogen as a reagent (catalyzing the corrosion reactions, changing the mechanical properties of the material at the crack tip, changes at the vacancies, degradation of the passive film, etc.). Finally, some examples of the applicability of the model to situations in the energy sector were presented.

Corrosion of additively manufactured alloys: Some examples. Nick Birbilis, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University, Australia. The emerging technologies of materials processing characterizable as additive manufacturing or 3D printing are brought a vast number of new situations for metallurgists and materials engineers, and Corrosionists. On the one hand, new materials are emerging, with new compositions, improved characteristics, easier treatment of final forms, sometimes less expensive, work on a smaller scale, etc., and a revolution in the engineering materials is happening. On the other hand, new problems facing deterioration and corrosion problems of such unique products are emerging. They are new challenges for Corrosionists, and Nick Birbilis is leading a sound research line about that. He, therefore, presented some of the results achieved by his students and the research group led by him. The positive effect of AM is, for instance, the annihilation of Mn inclusions due to the high temperatures of the process and the consequent improvement of the pit resistance. Exploratory research, including the obtention of a composite of stainless steel reinforced with glass, looking for a synergistic effect of the two high corrosion-resistant materials. To conclude, there is a world of new opportunities and challenges for materials and corrosion engineers.

In the end, it is possible to say that there are significant advances in the understanding of the corrosion issues that must be transferred to the industry as soon as possible—furthermore, emerging new relevant problems concerning the current industrial revolution under a frame of environmental and societal sustainability. Together, the Academy, industry, and government are invited to take part in these new significant challenges.

Remember: Protection of materials and equipment is a profitable business!

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

How industry can get more value out of maintenance

Maintenance has always been a mystery to asset-intensive industries: while high uptime is critical to ensure return on assets, these industries often involve complex and unpredictable conditions. These conditions stress machines, and the high cost of preventive and reactive maintenance required to keep them healthy can undermine profitability, for more than two decades, companies had viewed predictive maintenance as a panacea, seducing them with the idea that they can predict failures long before they appeared.

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Low-cost new battery

Form Energy, a Boston-based company, says its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery that can provide electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and less than 1/10 the cost of lithium-ion, a cheap, safe battery that can store energy for a long time is the holy grail of the renewable energy industry, as it can eliminate the variability of wind and solar energy at a low cost, this battery can be used continuously over a multi-day period, providing a reliable, safe and fully renewable electricity grid throughout the year. The battery is said to work through the reversible oxidation of iron. In the discharge mode, thousands of tiny iron pellets are exposed to air, which corrodes them. When the system is charged with electric current, the oxygen in the rust is removed and turns back to iron.

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The world's first 3D-printed steel bridge

The first 3D-printed steel bridge was unveiled in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was created by robotic arms using welding torches to lay the structure of the bridge layer by layer and is made of 4.500 kilograms of stainless steel. The structure, which was moved to its place on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in the center of Amsterdam last week, is now open to pedestrians and cyclists. Engineers will use this model to study the properties of the unique material and use machine learning to detect any trends in the data that might indicate maintenance or change is necessary.

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An inspector for the O&G

Position: Senior/ lead inspector

Seeker: BP.

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: Master in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent.

● Experience: At least ten years of demonstrable experience in the petrochemical industry in a technical function in inspecting pressure equipment.

● Skills: Knowledge in construction and the use of pressure equipment and knowledge of management measures in maintenance, inspection, and litigation, considering the design.

Job description: BP global is seeking a senior lead inspector willing to make products and operations safer and more standardized, also driving the quicker reduction of our carbon emissions, including growing cash returns and delivering improved reliability and optimization, and maximizing efficiency through sharing resources.

Volunteering Opportunities towards a stronger community of Corrosionists

Positions: Various committee positions

Seeker: Australian Corrosion Association.

Location: Australia.

Job description: The Australian Corrosion Association is seeking to expand its membership on a range of committees. Volunteer committee opportunities are such as:

● Education and Training Committee

● ACA Foundation Board of Directors

● Membership Committee

● Young Corrosion Group Steering Committee

● Queensland Branch Committee

Ph.D. positions dealing with emerging technologies

Position: Ph.D. students

Seeker: School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma.

Location: Oklahoma, United States.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: B.S. or M.S. degree in Materials Science or Mechanical Engineering

● Bonus: A background in physical metallurgy and characterization will be valued for these positions.

Job description: The research of the first positions is focused on the 3D printings of metallic alloys and their characterization using electron microscopy. The second position is on machine learning and its applications in additive manufacturing and materials development.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

ABRAFATI show 2021. In-person

Brazilian Association of Paint Manufacturers offers a three-day event bringing together the International Congress of Paints and the International Exhibition of Suppliers for Paints. The purpose of this event is to add this company's expertise to an event that already has great success, making it take another qualitative leap and be aligned with the most innovative in the world.

Dates: Tuesday to Thursday, November 30th, to December 02nd, 2021.

Interfinish 2020. Virtual

International Union of Surface Finishing will share a three-day event covering all aspects of surface finishing engineering and industrial subjects. This congress is a meeting point for academics and engineers. Based on the current situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), Interfinish 2020 Japanese organization and IUSF committees have determined to postpone to this September.

Dates: Monday to Wednesday, September 6th to 8th, 2021.

Corrosion Science Symposium. Virtual

Institute of corrosion will be offering a four-day event for up-to-date research and practice in corrosion and is especially welcoming to early career researchers. It will incorporate the postponed “Advances in Corrosion Protection by Organic Coatings” (an event of the European Federation of Corrosion). You will be noticing speakers as:

● Bill Hedges: President, ICorr, formally Chief Engineer, Integrity Management at BP

● Herman Terryn: Professor of Surface Science and Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

● Mary Ryan: U.R. Evans’ Awardee & Professor of Materials Science, Imperial College, London

● Lionel Sheir Prize for the best presentation by a speaker aged 30 or under

Dates: Monday to Thursday, September 6th to 9th, 2021.

Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash