Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

May 25, 2021

Quote of the week: .''Invention is the most important product of man’s creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.” — Nikola Tesla, Physicist, 1856 (Smiljan, Croatia) – 1943 (New York).

From The Editor's Corner


Just a corrosion mechanism

Heterogeneities are one of the main reasons for the establishment of corrosion cells. Often, galvanic pairs electronic and electrolytic connected can generate enough electromotive force, leading to an anode and a cathode arrangement. In most cases, corrosion cells are perceptible to the naked eye. However, sometimes, along pipelines, dimensions are of kilometers, and it is not easy to identify the entire cell. But heterogeneities can also be at the micro, nano, or atomic scale, and corrosion cells are of the same size. This is the situation with some alloys that are prone to the so-called dealloying mechanism of corrosion.

In principle, the problem appears with the development of alloys—alloying means heterogeneities and, consequently, a weak condition against corrosive environments. Theoretically, a pure metal must be more corrosion resistant than its alloys (practical situations often show deviations of such behavior). It is well known that the actual trends in the establishment of a corrosion cell depend on several factors, and most of the alloys are not susceptible to the dealloying phenomenon. Nowadays, with the irruption of new horizons for alloying, like multi-principal element alloys, Corrosionists are in front of new challenges concerning corrosion by dealloying. But we have a long experience handling the problem in some traditional alloys suffering such kind of problems.


Before we mentioned graphic corrosion in cast irons with free graphite in the microstructure, mainly gray iron, but sometimes in malleable and nodular irons. Here, it is easy to accept that two very different constituents, a steel matrix and the embedded particles of graphic, easily interact electrochemically in a corrosive environment. The steel is dissolved, and the remaining spaces are partially filled with the corrosion products, while the graphite network remains supporting the external conditions. The original shape, the size, and the aspect of the part are not affected, but the mechanical properties are lost.


This is the second most common corrosion phenomenon by dealloying. Also, dezincification problems are the oldest reported cases, where Zn is removed from brass. The more active element, Zn, is leached from the alloy, leaving behind a porous network of the nobler element, Cu. It happens when the percentage of Zn is over 15 %. In the monophasic alpha brasses, the deterioration results in a uniform layer of porous copper. Besides, in the two-phase brasses, the beta phase is dissolved, leaving unalloyed “plugs” or the plug type dezincification.

Other examples of dealloying are removing Ni from cupro-nickel alloys or denickelification, Al from Al-bronzes, Sn from Cu-Sn alloys, and Cu from Cu-Au alloys, etc.

A helpful “corrosion process”

Nanoporous materials are being broadly used for catalytic purposes. One of the pathways for the synthesis of nanoporous metals as catalysts is dealloying proper alloys like single-phase, solid-solution binary alloys (Cu-Au, Ag-Au, Cu-Pd, Ag, Pd, Ni-Pd, Co-Pt, Ni-Pt, Al-Ag, Al-Cu, Al-Ni, Cu-Zn, Mg-Ag, etc.). Also, ternary alloys like Cu-Mg-Ca have been investigated. Furthermore, porous thin films are fabricated by electrochemical dealloying. In every case, the noble metal is maintained, and the most active is leached. One method extensively developed for obtaining nanoporous materials is liquid metal dealloying. This procedure is based on the etching of the original alloy and dissolving the most soluble component. On the other side, the same approach can be applied for metallurgical purposes, extracting valuable metals from minerals or scrap. Currently, dealloying is emerging as a promising manufacturing process, with broad applications, some of them combined with another new technique, additive manufacturing.

An answer to the challenge of actual recycling

For those who work with steel, the composition of mild steel has changed over the last decades. The percentage of secondary steel increases with time because of recycling and economic issues. Consequently, the composition of the new steel is influenced by the impurities and alloying elements contained in the scrap used as a raw material. A typical example is Copper. In general, the percentage of this element is increasing, and current, mils steel usually is like a high-strength low alloy (HSLA) steel. That means better mechanical and chemical properties. But sometimes, such characteristics are superfluous. The processing is more complex and more expensive, and, finally, current mild steel more costly than usual. The main reason is that the alloy elements in the scrap metal are trapped in the steel, and their recovery is neither technically easy nor cost-effective.

In other words, we are talking about partial recycling, not an actual recovery of the raw materials used for the original steel manufacturing. This is the same situation with most of the strategic elements today. Only some precious metals like Au, and Pt, are partially recycle as pure elements. But almost the total is not recovered. Consequently, most of the used elements lost their functionality at the first usage. This is not a Circular Economy. According to Professors Antonio and Alicia Valero from the University of Zaragoza in Spain, there is an urgent need to find solutions to these situations. The search for efficient recovery and recycling of all the former raw materials ensures an actual circular economic model. As they show, strategic elements of car manufacturing (Ni, Li, Co, Nd, Dy, Tb, Sb, Bi, B, Au, Ag, In, and Te) are currently lost in the recycling processes. Post-globalization times require not only economic considerations but social and environmental, too. Now, the limitation is the technical possibilities, and R&D becomes essential. Dealloying processes, by the electrochemical way, close to the corrosion mechanism mentioned above, have been shown as an exciting option. Corrosionist knows the phenomenon, and they are invited to lead this new crusade of innovation.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

A severe warning for Corrosionists

The International Energy Agency – IEA – has published the report “Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.” The study employed several tools to establish more than 400 milestones to reach the net-zero by 2050. Some of them concerning the fossil energy sector. Basic recommendations about that are:

● No investment in new fossil fuel supply projects.

● No other final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants.

● No sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars by 2035.

● A global electricity sector that has reached the goal of net-zero emissions by 2040.

​The above targets mean that oil, gas, and coal will become outside the energy business. National economies, companies, and people involved, including many Corrosionists, must be prepared for such a change. We are facing a new situation after almost 150 years of fighting corrosion and looking for assets protection in the O&G as probably the most demanding sector of anticorrosion measurements and the primary employer of corrosionists. Suggested solutions aim at switching to alternative energies, supported on incipient and coming technologies rising from the escalation of R&D. Such advice is valid not only for enterprises but also for countries and Corrosionists.

Betting on recycling strategic metals

BASF announced the decision to increase the capacity of its refining facility in Seneca, South Carolina, USA. This plant is devoted to recycling precious metals from spent catalysts as automotive catalytic converters (usually containing a mixture of the platinum group metals (Pt, Pd, and Rh) and rare earth oxides such as CeO2 and ZrO). According to the Company, the “Seneca site produces precious metal catalysts and chemicals that BASF customers use to produce a wide variety of products, including herbicides, plastics, pharmaceuticals, automotive emission catalysts, fragrances, and fertilizers.”

Innovation on temporary anticorrosive

Audi has started to use a new steel coil oiling system: It is a new generation of the oil “Prelube II.” This new generation forms a more viscous and even protective film on the sheet metal surface. Furthermore, the amount of required lubricant during manufacturing is reduced. One gram of oil by square meter has been applied until now, but a reduction of about 30% is estimated with the new development. As a result, yearly savings in the company is calculated as 40 tons of oil. Also, less applied oil implies an easier cleaning before painting. In the end, a series of advantages concerning more efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes related to further innovation on anticorrosive measurements.

Avoiding corrosion dealloying

In a recently published paper, a group of researchers at Rice University, USA, and the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, has announced the discovery of a method for preventing leaching from Au-Ag nanoparticle alloys used a catalyst for degrading environmental pollutants, optical sensing, and antimicrobial applications. Thanks to a synthesis process by laser ablation, the nanoparticles become passivate and stable, improving their durability and other properties as bioactivity.

Effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the corrosion market.

The global offshore corrosion protection market was valued at USD $9.500 million in 2019. Offshore corrosion protection technologies have evolved at a rapid pace due to which, the demand continues to grow at a consistent pace. The production of corrosion protection coatings specifically developed to protect metallic substrates, including Mg, Al, Fe, and steel has accelerated over the past decade. In addition, as the offshore infrastructure is largely prone to corrosion across different zones, including submerged, mud, and splash, the need for corrosion protection continues to gain considerable momentum. Demand & supply of products, supply of raw materials, and manufacturing facilities have been completely disrupted, which has resulted in weak product and service demand. Among various industries, chemical and materials, aviation, oil & gas, and electronics industries have suffered huge financial losses. This has created weak demand for corrosion protection coatings from chemical and materials industries.


Scientific Research & Testing

Position: Corrosion Science Consultant

Seeker: Jacobs

Location: Harwell, Oxford, UK

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: PhD in Corrosion Science, Materials Science, or equivalent working experience.

● Skills: Experimental and desk-based analytical skills, with focus on materials and corrosion science also strong technical writing skills with flexible, innovative and interested in developing new competence and be able to work in multi-disciplinary teams.

Job description: Jacobs is seeking for a corrosion science consultant willing to work in the nuclear area that will be focused on providing experimental and analytical capabilities to assist our customers in meeting various challenges and sometimes give support in other areas such as decommissioning and radioactive waste management

ASM (American Society of Metals) international is seeking an Executive Director.

Position: Executive Director.

Seeker: ASM international.

Location: Ohio, United States.

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: Bachelor’s degree required, MBA or other advanced degree preferred.

● Experience: You must have a minimum of 15 years of progressive executive-level professional leadership experience in an organization of comparable size, complexity, and scope.

● Skills: Track record for effectively leading the development and effective execution of a strategic plan and in conjunction with a board of Trustees is desired this included strong board relations skills with a servant leadership style and a basic understanding of materials and engineering as well as well-informed insights into broader science, technology, and business influences is desirable.

● Bonus: Willingness to travel domestically and internationally on behalf of ASM International to conferences, exhibitions, ASM Chapter and business meetings, and other important industry events.

Job description: ASM (American Society of Metals) international is an organization for engaging and connecting materials professionals and their organizations to the resources necessary to solve problems. The executive director will work collaboratively with the Board of Trustees, staff, and key external stakeholders to build on the organization’s rich legacy and address the evolving needs of the materials science professional communities. The candidate will be managing $36M organization profit and an overall of 70 staff members including also hundreds of volunteers.

MSCA (Marie Skłodowska-Curie) Postdoctoral Fellowships

The basic profile of the candidate:

● Education: completed and PhD and have a maximum of 8 years full-time equivalent experience in research at the call deadline

If you are looking to get some financial support to develop your scientific project. The MSCA is looking to give a postdoctoral fellowship of 12 to 24 months. If justified in the proposal, an additional period of up to 6 months can be awarded to researchers who will spend that period in a non-academic organization established in an EU Member State or associated country. The deadline for the proposal submission is on Wednesday, September 15th of 2021.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Paint and coatings E-connecting 2021. Virtual

Paint & Coatings presents P&C, e-Connecting, a series of online presentations by leading suppliers of the paint and coatings industry this includes presentations in multiple languages and at different dates in order to attend as much as possible of audience interested in this topics.

Date: Jun 01st, 03rd, 08th, 10th and 22nd of 2021

Time: From 10:00 to 12:00 each day, CEST (GMT +2)

International Conference on High Temperature Corrosion and Materials Applications. Virtual

ICHTCMA conference will gather eminent scientists, researchers from universities to exchange and share experiences and research results on all aspects of concrete structures and corrosion, there will be a number of selected high-impact paper from different authors such as Waste-Based Surface Modification to Enhance Corrosion Resistance of Aluminum Bronze Alloy, you will be attending topics like:

● High temperature corrosion resistance of metals and alloys

● Metal dusting corrosion of metals and alloys

● High temperature corrosion mechanism of layered ternary ceramics

● Oxidation-resistant nanocrystalline coatings

Dates: Wednesday and Thursday, June 17th and 18th, 2021.

Robotics corrosion management, inspection, and maintenance). Virtual

NACE is offering a two-day course focused on robotics corrosion, understanding of the robotics available to manage degradation and corrosion in tanks, pipes, oil and gas assets, power generation, water/wastewater, etc. You will be taking a deep looking at how to identify the financial and safety benefits realized from integrating robotics into your inspection routine, summarize how data acquired through robotics inspections can be used to strengthen an overall degradation and corrosion management program and recognize how risks and operational costs can be reduced by utilizing data gathered from robotic technology.

Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, June 1st and 2nd, 2021

Time: From 9:00 to 11:30 CST (GMT – 5) each day.

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash