Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

June 22, 2021

Quote of the week: “Without microscopy, there is no modern science.” — Alan Finkel, Australia, 1953. Electrical Engineer, neuroscientist and entrepreneur

From The Editor's Corner

A unique tool for corrosion fighting

Clearing the darkness

Darkness was most of the Earth for people incapable of imagining how the planet is, as happened for humankind until the proper development of ships joined to the spirit of risk of people like Chinese sailing the Pacific and Indic oceans some centuries ago. Also, Vikings were crossing the Atlantic. But also, explorers and leaders like Marco Polo, Cristobal Colon, and Hernando de Magallanes “weaving” the continents across the planet. Dark was the extraterrestrial space for all the people until the discoveries by Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and other former astronomers that inventing and developing the telescope opened a window that currently we are trying to conquer. Dark is almost 85% of the universe. It is a matter that we cannot observe because it does not appear to absorb, reflect, or emit electromagnetic radiation. Therefore it cannot be seen using light. So then, dark is like a lack of knowledge about a portion of matter. Such a situation happened to the micro and the sub-micro world until the century 16th. But around 1600, the microscope was invented in Middleburg, The Netherlands. The instrument was a three-sliding tube with two or more different lenses, magnifying 3x to 9x. One of humankind's most important inventions and one of the most valuable innovations for Corrosionists’ job!

That was a golden period of inventions. Soon, Others like Galileo Galilei improved the original design, and microscopy has become a new area of study, covering issues related to all nature, including living organisms and materials in general. It was the starting point of a list of microscopists, scientists using and improving the tool over the following centuries. For example, Robert Hooke, in England, in the 1660s, improved the microscope and published the book “Micrographia.” In the next decade, the Dutch Antoine van Leeuwenhoek designed a high-powered single-lens microscope to magnify up to 270x. And some years later, pioneers of materials engineering started to report the use of the microscope for studying metals. Three hundred years ago, R.A. de Réaumur published a book about the nature of fracture patterns in iron and steel. Then, Henry Clifton Sorby, in the middle of the 19th century, developed the procedure for the metallographic samples preparation that we use even today (grinding, polishing, etching), which led to the scientific era in metallography. It was the beginning of the characterization of metals and alloy microstructure. Other researchers like W.C. Roberts-Austen, Adolf Martens, and L.J. Troost, all familiar names for metallurgists, contributed to Floris Osmond’s systematization in France and transforming metallography into sound science. Finally, at the beginning of the last century, the optical microscope reached its maximum physically possible development, resolving objects smaller than the wavelength of visible light. Such a barrier was solved with the invention of the transmission electron microscope by Ernst Ruska and his professor Max Knoll, in Germany, in 1931.

During the 20th century, optical and electronic microscopes have been enhanced in functionality and complementary techniques. These advances included the invention of the scanning electron microscope and an assortment of possibilities like fluorescent and polarized light; reflecting, phase contrast, confocal, ultraviolet, optical microscopes; and the environmental electron microscope. As always, new opportunities appeared with technological development. In the 1980s, the Third Industrial Revolution brought digitalization and microelectronics to support the invention of the scanning tunnel microscope and its derivate the atomic force microscope. Now, researchers had the answer to the old dream of watching atoms. Some of those outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge were acknowledged with the Nobel Prize:

● 1953 (Physics): Frits Zernike, phase contrast microscope.

● 1982 (Chemistry): Aaron Klug, crystallographic electron microscope.

● 1986 (Physics):

○ Ernst Ruska, electron microscope.

○ Gerd Binning and Heinrich Roher, scanning tunneling microscope.

● 2014 (Chemistry): Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell, and William E. Moerner, super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.

● 2017 (Chemistry): Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson, cryo-electron microscopy.

Some of the above inventions can be related to one of the 14 Great Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, “Engineer the tools for scientific discovery,” promoted by the US National Association of Engineers. Moreover, many other recent improvements, now associated with real/digital integration, are characteristic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. An evident example is a report, some weeks ago, of advancement in the integration of deep learning as a tool for the automatic refocusing of blurred regions on the study of martensitic steels and precipitation-hardened alloys using STM. Right now, we are ready to see up to 10.000.000x and a lot of complementary options around, including tinting, qualitative and quantitative analyses, in-situ assessment, compositional determinations, three-dimensional imaging, in-live and computational analyses, and so on.

Corrosionists use that tools

Taking advantage of the above-described developments, corrosion studies are evolving, too, as has been shown by Philippe Marcus and collaborators from his Research Group of Physical Chemistry of Surfaces of Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris. They have described a much better approach and understanding of the different places at the micro, nano, or sub nanoscale where the corrosion process is acting. E.g., the metal/electrolyte interface, the structure of the oxide passive films, localized corrosion at the nanoscale, including its origin (local passivity breakdown), local electronic properties of passive films, and, therefore, the atomistic modeling of corrosion employing the density functional theory. Sub nanometric changes occurring at the onset of the corrosive attack have been followed. Consequently, processes like the adsorption of the electrolyte on the metallic surface can be registered. Also, the initiation of the oxide growth and the step of the two to the three-dimension corrosion products film. And other passivation features such as the role of grain boundaries as preferential sites of dissolution where oxygen vacancies modify the surface density of state, promoting anionic transport and the Cl- entrance. Or instabilities of passive films resulting from the oxide growth mechanisms and the weak points from reasons as pre-oxidation. Similarly, approaches to investigate the effect and mechanisms of corrosion inhibitors and any other corrosive processes or anti-corrosive measurements occurring on any surface. Nowadays, we can say that corrosion engineering is evolving towards a more scientific discipline, closer to the required solutions in each case.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Wind industry calls for Europe

With the competitive process today, Europe's wind energy industry is actively engaged in reusing, recycling or recovering 100% of its abandoned blades, at the same time, the industry is committed not to send decommissioned blades from Europe to other countries outside of Europe for landfill.

Recycling circles were established for most components, including steel, cement, copper wire, electronics, and gears, however, wind turbine blades are more difficult to recycle. But their configuration also poses challenges for recycling, such composites are not only used in wind turbine blades. These are important materials in areas like aviation, automotive, marine transportation, aviation, recreational and sports equipment, construction, and construction.

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Volvo to build steel cars without fossil fuels by 2026

Volvo expects to produce carbon-free steel cars by 2026 under an agreement that could significantly reduce carbon emissions from the production of its vehicles, because steel is a major contributor to global carbon emissions, it is generally regarded as one of the most difficult to decarbonize. Volvo hopes to use it in a concept car by 2025, with commercial applications arriving by 2026 at the earliest. Kerstin Enochsson, Volvo’s head of procurement said it was too early to say what impact the new technology would have on car prices but added that the carmaker considered environmental sustainability as a key part of its attractiveness to buyers.

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LiquidPiston is developing an efficient engine

The Combustion Engine Reimagined , the company focuses on military and aerospace markets, where propulsion and energy production segments represent significant application opportunities for LiquidPiston. In essence is an efficient engine called the ‘’X engine’’ with an advanced rotary engines based on their patented HEHC thermodynamic cycle and engine architecture that is up to 10X smaller and lighter and 30% more efficient, this is a big bet in a $400B industry of internal combustion energy looking to revolutionize the diesel engine to an smaller, efficient and of course less expensive that the actual diesel engine, only two primary moving parts, optimally balanced we definitely need to take a look on this.

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Research Associate in smart ceramic coatings for corrosion protection

Position: Research Associate

Seeker: The university of Manchester

Location: Sackville Street, Manchester, England

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: PhD in Materials Science & Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Physics or related subjects

● Experience: You will need experience in spray and/or electrolytic coating technology and corrosion of light alloys

● Skills: You should be capable of working under your own initiative and of leading a small research team, so excellent interpersonal and organizational skills are also required.

● Bonus: Experience in the characterization and tribological evaluation of coatings is highly desirable.

Job description: The university of Manchester is seeking a Research engineer willing to develop functional ceramic coatings to improve the long-term performance of lightweight components used in the transport industry and you will be expected to play an active role in maintaining our research culture, driven by scientific quality, and in helping to train students.

Materials Engineer

Position: Materials Engineer.

Seeker: Facebook Reality Lab.

Location: Shanghai, China

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: BS in material science, chemistry, mechanical engineering, or equivalent experience.

● Experience: Experience with high tech and industry leading consumer hardware and experience thriving in an extremely dynamic and fast-paced environment also knowledge in process methodologies in one or more of the following technologies: plastics, plating, adhesives,

● Bonus: MS in engineering/scientific discipline and three or plus years of experience building, testing, and evaluating hardware & software system

Job description: Facebook Reality Labs seeks a Materials Engineer with the ability to bring new materials to consumer products at scale. We are looking for a slightly impatient individual willing to face down their fear of failure to accomplish bold things.

Maintenance Manager

Position: Maintenance Manager

Seeker: MSD corporate.

Location: Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: Bachelor of Engineering with electronic/Instrumentation focus is acceptable provided adequate field experience can be demonstrated.

● Experience: Minimum 10 years post tertiary related experience in a related field also experience with GMP, GLP or ISO 9000 in a production environment

● Skills:

● Bonus: Further qualifications, courses or diplomas related to electronic/instrument maintenance, environmental, health and safety, building services, process software and calibration are desirable

Job description: MSD corporate is seeking a maintenance engineer willing to lead the engineering routine maintenance and equipment /facility breakdown service to maximize plant output while ensuring best overall cost, customer satisfaction, safety, and regulatory compliance for the company’s Animal Health New Zealand manufacturing business.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

ICFSCCP 2021: 15. International Conference on Functional and Smart Coatings for Corrosion Prevention. Virtual

ICFSCCP 2021: The International Conference on Functional and Smart Coatings for Corrosion Prevention will gather eminent scientists, researchers from universities to exchange and share experiences and research results on all aspects of Functional and Smart Coatings for Corrosion Prevention. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners, and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered, and solutions adopted in the fields of Functional and Smart Coatings for Corrosion Prevention.

Date: Tuesday and Wednesday,June 29th, and June 30th of 2021


This congress and corrosion meeting is gathering renowned experts from various parts of the world, aiming to find solutions to contribute to the recovery that the industrial sector so badly needs. Maintaining the integrity of assets and reducing operating and maintenance costs are extremely relevant concerns in our daily lives, with direct implications for the productive sector.

Dates: From Tuesday June 29th to Friday July 02nd, 2021.

Time: From 8:00 to 14:00 each day, (GMT - 3).

​​Pipeline Integrity Management Seminar (PIMS) Latin America. Quito - Ecuador

Given the many recent changes in the oil industry in Latin America, many are seeking a deeper understanding of pipeline integrity, not only to increase safety and operability, but also to protect the environment and maximize profits from oil, gas and refined hydrocarbon distribution. Which brings together pipeline operators and integrity service providers from across the industry and the region, and discover the latest knowledge and best practices from global industry experts and state-of-the-art technology and services corrosion.

Deadline for Abstracts: Friday, 30th July of 2021

Deadline for Presentation: Monday, 25th October 2021

Photo by L N on Unsplash