Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

November 23, 2021

Quote of the week: “Ask of the steel, each strut, and wire, … What gave it force and power.” Joseph B. Strauss, U.S.A. structural engineer, chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge (1870 – 1938).

From The Editor's Corner

A niche for materials business

Taking advantage of Mendeleev’s legacy

All of us know that chemical reactions are omnipresent in corrosion phenomena. One way or another, corrosionists are chemists. Chemistry deals with chemical elements. According to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry – IUPAC -, a chemical element is “a species of atoms; all atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus.” In principle, few elements, a little over one hundred, but only the first 94 of which occur in nature, constitute the complexity of our current universe. A series of elements systematized according to some of their properties by Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev(1834–1907), the Russian chemist who found that chemical elements could be arranged such that basic properties repeat periodically, depending on the atomic number. Considering this periodicity, Mendeleev invented the Periodic Table - PT, a graphic description of the periodicity. It's more than just a map of chemical elements. In fact, the PT was Mendeleev’s tool for clarifying properties of some of the elements and predicting properties, behaviors, and even elements non-discovered yet. The PT currently includes eighteen columns, families, or groups with similar electronic configuration and valence, ranging from alkaline metals to noble gases. Seven horizontal rows or periods put together the elements according to their trend on atomic radii, ionization energy, electronic affinity, and electronegativity. In addition, some subgroups or categories according to their physicochemical properties can be recognized across the table, such as metals (transition metals, refractory metals, and noble ones), metalloids, and non-metals. From the beginning, the simple map that apparently is PT offers many of the answers that we are looking for current problems and will surely provide the information necessary to solve those we do not yet have. Two years ago, the United Nations did a tribute to the Ps, celebrating the 150 years of the first Mendeleev table, declaring 2019 as “The International Year of the Periodic Table”. These are some of the words by Qi-Feng Zhou, IUPAC President welcoming such celebration: “There is no scientific symbol more ubiquitous than the periodic table. It is a map of our knowledge, particularly in chemistry, and a symbolic representation of the process of scientific research. It is also a reference tool that is much needed in scientific communication. The history of the periodic table and IUPAC demonstrates the gradual perfection of scientific research and the continuous effort for better communication to facilitate it.”

A “forgotten” group of elements

Simple but complex, PT may be divided also by blocks, according to the energy of the higher-level energy occupied. One of these is the f block, which includes two sub rows called lanthanoids and actinoids. The lanthanoid series are the rare-earth metals, rare-earth oxides, or rare-earth elements – REEs, including 15 elements, plus yttrium and scandium because of their similar properties. REEs are classified as light (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium and scandium) and heavy REEs (terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium and yttrium). Sometimes the chemical elements of the actinoid series are also considered to be REEs. In this group, only actinium, thorium, protactinium, and uranium occur in nature. The transuranium elements are obtained by bombarding the naturally occurringactinoids. REEs is an understandable name, especially when they were discovered, but one that perhaps weighs them down and helps keep them a bit out of the more conventional chemical processes, unfamiliar, and forgotten for being "rare." REEs are similar in appearance, most of the time mineralogical associated in the same ore deposits and, consequently, difficult to separate. REEs show very similar chemical properties and differences, mainly in electronic and magnetic properties. Gadolinite was the first mineral containing REEs discovered in 1787, which is a nesosilicate with the chemical formula (Ce,La,Nd,Y)₂ FeBe₂ Si₂O₁₀. Until the 1990s, the USA was the largest producer of REEs in the world. Then, China became the first one producing about 60 percent of the worldwide REEs in 2020, followed by the USA and Myanmar, sharing another 30 percent. Rare-earth metal production worldwide had risen from 190.000 tons in 2018 to 220.000 tons in 2019 and 240.000 tons in 2020. The main application of REEs is in permanent magnets for traction motors for electric vehicles, cell phones, TVs, computers, hard disk drives, microphones, speakers, wind turbine generators, jet aircraft, LED lights, lasers, LCD and plasma screens, etc. In addition, the catalyst (e.g., petroleum refining and automobile fumes conversion) and ceramic sectors (e.g., superconductors and glass and enamels colorants) are demanding REEs. Ultimately, metallurgy is being applied to obtaining special alloys such as new stainless steel, hydrophobic coatings, and battery and fuel cell alloys. In other words, REEs are the elements of the post-globalization time, the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution under sustainability threats, and the energy transition goal. But a considerable exploration looking for the undiscovered deposits, considering conventional and new sources as the seabed sediments, much better ore processing, and proper recycling and recovery, underlining urban mining, are required because we are talking about almost a fifth part of the chemical elements found in nature!

An excellent opportunity for Corrosionists

​We can affirm that until now, from the science and engineering of corrosion and protection, only a timid approach to the use of the unexplored properties of REE has been observed. However, it is worth examining the scientific literature for the results of the approaches in the topic. One of the research lines is concerned with anticorrosive coatings for Mg alloys and galvanized coatings on steel. Also, the effect of the REEs on the behavior of conversion coatingscladding, and other thermal barriers has been studied. Other research deals with their effect as corrosion inhibitors. Furthermore, the study as alloying elements has been reported, including steelslight alloysrefractory alloysbiomedical alloys.

This is simply the starting point for the wide range of available opportunities to materials scientists and engineers, particularly Corrosionists. PT is a great tool, and today with the technologies available, it is possible to dive deeper into an ocean of up to now secrets. We can use information technologies such as neural networks, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain. In addition, new microscopic and spectroscopic research tools and the use of recently discovered concepts such as complex composition alloys, high entropy alloys, and multi-principal element alloys open up a world of new material properties, including high corrosion resistance. In addition, the development of processing methods and practices such as additive manufacturing adds other possibilities to the new era of anti-corrosion measures and asset protection. Corrosives are responsible for developing new alloys, coatings, paints, and inhibitors, thus taking advantage of the REE niche.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

A protective coating for steel

The compound, developed by Rice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, has proven to be more dielectric than most flexible materials and more flexible than most dielectrics, making it a good candidate for components in electronics such as flexible mobile phones. For testing against sulfate-reducing bacteria, which are known to accelerate corrosion up to 90 times faster than abiotic invaders, coated and uncoated samples were exposed to plankton and biofilms for 30 days.

Corrosion under insulation project

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) is a long-standing problem many industries face, threatening the integrity of insulated piping and equipment. It has been estimated that 40-60% of piping maintenance or 10% of the total maintenance budget can be attributed to CUI. It is recognized that the main challenges imposed by the CUI phenomenon are the difficulty in inspection and early detection. It is also acknowledged that the cost of corrosion can be further reduced by implementing the current knowledge and existing prevention strategies. TWI invites companies to joint to an Industry Project entitled “Integrity management of corrosion under insolation”. Its general objective is to “develop and improved risk based methodology for applying RBI to CUI supported by recent new insights, field data collection (historical and new projects) and focused laboratory testing of coating performance.”

A challenge about blue carbon

This challenge seeks solutions and tools that can constitute a robust blue carbon credit supply. The main goal of this challenge is to find and support high-quality blue carbon projects that advance the conservation and restoration of coastal and aquatic ecosystems. Results that must impact the carbon market and achieve solutions that help build trust and transparency in such projects—a true challenge for Corrosionists in front of the Circular Economy possibilities.


Research on MIC in a strongly innovative ecosystem

Research Assistant on microbiologically induced corrosion.

Join to a team with serious responsibilities in the care of assets

Risk based inspection engineer.

Quality control of the operation of a collider-accelerator operation

Quality engineer.

A professor of thermal transport and energy storage

Faculty position in thermal transport for energy.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange​​

Thermal Well Integrity and Design Symposium. In-person

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is offering a conference to review, discuss, and collaborate on all topics related to well integrity. The event will also include unconventional oil and gas well integrity. Networking and collaboration options with industry peers will be strongly promoted.

Date: FromMonday, November 29th to Tuesday, November 30th of 2021.

Venue: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Banff, Alberta, Canada.

International Seminar on painting and anticorrosive coatings. In-person

CIPRA (Congresso Internacional de Pintura e Revestimentos Anticorrosivos) is a conference for Portuguese speakers to bring together specialists and other professionals from the segments of anti-corrosion paint and other coatings for the presentation and discussion of topics of great technical relevance for all companies that use these techniques in the corrosion protection of metal equipment and structures in general.

Date: FromWednesday, December 01st to Thursday, December 02nd of 2021.

Venue: Rio Othon Palace, Av. Atlântica, 3264, Copacabana – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Digital Innovations for improving safety in chemical plants. Virtual

Emerson offers an online course learn how to achieve your safety goals by eliminating significant time and cost barriers that keep you from improving overall plant safety. You will learn how to avoid safety incidents, keep site personnel safe, protect the environment and improve corporate financial health while having minimal impact on operational performance.

Date: Thursday, December 02nd of 2021.

Hours: 12:00 EST (GMT - 5)

Upcoming events

November 2021

November 23rd Aluminum and magnesium as a bridge to a sustainable future (Link)

November 23rd Taking chemistry to market. (Link)

November 24th Brazilian seminar on stainless steel. (Link)

November 29th Thermal Well Integrity and Design Symposium (Link)

December 2021

December 01st International Seminar on painting and anticorrosive coatings. (Link)

December 02nd Digital Innovations for improving safety in chemical plants. (Link)


2021 Corrosion science symposium and advances in corrosion protection by organic coatings (Link)

Photo by Vedrana Filipović on Unsplash