Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

October 26, 2021

Quote of the week: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney, US entrepreneur, writer, and film producer (1901 – 1966).

From The Editor's Corner

They came to Stockholm and laid the groundwork for the development of new anticorrosive tools

Corrosionists' world is complex

Engineering practice is associated with the symbiosis of knowledge acquired through one's own, and another's experience and scientific knowledge. According to the Hungarian economist, philosopher, and mathematician Imre Lakatos, we can say that the engineering practice is a heuristic method, or a set of empirical and scientific rules to guide problem-solving and hypothesis proposing concerning engineering design, calculation, and decision making. Two simultaneous kinds of balances, the first one between empirical and scientific knowledge, and one more balance between time and money savings and accurate decisions. Following this method of the challenges faced by engineers in our highly complex world have been solved. Such proportions evolve with time, but also with the engineering specialty. Old engineering is more empirical, and the new one is more scientific. More recent engineering branches look more scientific, too. Like it or not, experiential knowledge is a limitation. But it's because scientific knowledge is so limited. All the above considerations are valid for corrosion engineering practice, and for the same reasons, corrosion science relevance is rising with time.

Limitations popped up in the scientific practice, and consequently, corrosion engineering becomes limited, too. Let’s think about the importance of the scientific method for our development during the last millennia. We quickly conclude that its designers and early promoters were deserving of an award like the Nobel Prize. One of the underlining facts of the scientific method concerns simplification towards a more straightforward understanding for extending the results to similar situations. But nature and society, our world, are too complex, science becomes limited, and engineering practices, including corrosion, are also limited. Experiential knowledge has been and continues to be fundamental. However, such limitations have been broken, and the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 proves that. This award has been granted to three researchers dealing with understanding complex situations directly related to engineering materials and their deterioration. Giorgio Parisi, Professor at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, has been granted 50% of the prize. Parisi approaches include studies of theoretical physics applied to materials issues like microstructural defects, thermodynamics, heat treatment behavior, magnetic properties, order-disorder configurations, the vitreous transition, and especially the so-called “spin-glasses'' or Cu grids doped with Fe atoms, randomly distributed in a complex configuration that he was able to explain mathematically. To summarize, Parisi's contribution to understanding the atomic level of complex materials opens a powerful window to develop new and more corrosion-resistant materials.

In addition, one phenomenon that causes most corrosion problems relates to the adverse effect of the atmosphere on the integrity of materials. The concerns about these types of issues are more than ancient. It's just the concerns about the iron nails with which the stones were tied in the Parthenon building in Greece. In this situation, where the environment surrounding and attacking materials and assets is the atmosphere, we know that any case is a complex one because usually the variables influencing the deterioration process are many, and, in addition, the interaction between them is particularly complex. Factors participating in an atmospheric corrosion attack range from the atomic scale to the cosmic scale. That means that there are variables associated with the complexity of the atomic structure of the substances, but, on the other side, other variables linked to the sun and other extraterrestrial bodies influence the Earth. Conventional studies of atmospheric corrosion are correlated with a few variables. They fix the rest, following the established scientific method, leaving aside that real interaction includes many interactive variables. Consequently, even slight variations in one or some of them can result in enormous behavior differences. All of us know the severe limitations of such an approach, and efforts are always oriented to improve the mathematical modeling of the actual phenomena. But the study is improving considerably, thanks to the contribution of the other two researchers who received the additional 50% of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021. Syukuro Manabe, from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, and Klaus Hasselmann, affiliated to the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany. Both are scientists devoted to developing tools for the long-term prediction of atmospheric facts like global warming and weather forecasting by revolutionary methodologies starting from the dynamics and thermodynamics of many simultaneous small events, including meteorological and pollution factors, but considering the apparently chaotic and random behavior of atmospheric processes by the use of the best possible electronic computing tools. Undoubtedly, a great platform to better understand and predict atmospheric corrosion.

Inhibit or catalyze?

Inventions instead of discoveries are associated with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021. But again, close to Corrosionists’ issues. All of us are familiar with one of the typical anticorrosive measurements as inhibitor usage is. This is the reason why the worldwide market in 2021 is expected to be USD $8.700 million. However, R&D on new inhibitors is one of the significant challenges for Corrosionists due to sustainability, contamination of products, and health risk. But many times, Corrosionists are dealing with corrosion problems concerning chemical industrial processes, where the opposite of inhibition is essential. We are talking about catalysis or the acceleration and optimization of chemical reactions, including into the process an external agent, not a reagent, able to foster the reaction of interest. Traditional catalyzers have been transition metals like Fe, Cu, and Ni as “deposits” of electrons required in the core reactions, but with their limitations as toxic, expensive, and progressively scarce. Besides, enzymatic has been another catalyzing option, with constraints like handling very large and complicated molecules, which produce vast amounts of waste. Fortunately, on February 26th of 2000, Benjamin List, from the Max Plank Institute for Coral Research, Mülheim an der Rhur, Germany, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society a paper announcing the development of a new and efficient catalyzing way by employing small organic molecules instead of the long enzyme molecules, an amino acid called proline. Seven months later, on September 26th, David W.C MacMillan, from Princeton University, published in the same journal his results about the design of a small organic molecule able to act as a transition metal providing or accepting electrons. Since that, the development of “organocatalysis” methods has gained enormous momentum due to the impact on industrial processes like drugs, agrochemicals, polymers, etc. They are more straightforward, more precise, cheaper, faster, and environmentally friendly. More than powerful reasons for MacMillan and List to be the 2021 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry. They have shown a fantastic landscape for the inhibitors, paints, coatings, and new materials needed to fight future corrosion problems. Now we Corrosionists have the task of harnessing this new knowledge for our business.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Redefine asset care with a blended reality

According to the Microsoft news, built on more than 100 million lines of software code, the modern Mercedes-Benz has more codes than the Space Shuttle, F-35 fighter and pacemaker combined. When using HoloLens 2, Microsoft's unrestricted, stand-alone holographic device, a service technician can perform a hands-free inspection of the vehicle, by collaborating in a mixed reality environment with a remote Microsoft team professional that can see exactly what a technician sees in a dealership, fueling for the fastest and most accurate vehicle service. This pioneering technology redefines automotive maintenance and service training, leading to faster and more accurate vehicle maintenance for customers and dealers. This technology also opens the door for many other asset monitoring, maintenance, repairing, and refurbishing applications.

A pioneer hydrogen power station makes its debut in South America

Hydrogen de France Energy, an independent electricity producer and fuel cell manufacturer, has commenced constructing one of the world's first multi-megawatt hydrogen power plants in French Guyana. The plant will include a solar PV park, a 16 MW electrolysis platform, a long-term hydrogen storage unit, two 1.5 MW fuel cell systems, as well as a lithium-battery storage unit. short term ions, this technology involves separating hydrogen and oxygen from water molecules using an electric current inside an electrolyzer. The resulting hydrogen is pressurized and stored in acclimation tanks. The hydrogen is then recombined with oxygen inside the fuel cell. This generates electricity and steam.

Palladium challenge competition

Nornickel, the world's largest producer of high-quality palladium and nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announces the start of the Palladium Challenge, a competition with a prize of US $350.000 organized in partnership with the International Precious Metals Institute. The Palladium Challenge is an initiative to inspire individuals, businesses and academic institutions to invent and design a sustainable use case that presents and increases demand for palladium.

Completed proposals must be submitted no later than May 31, 2022.


Research on high-temperature corrosion of commercial alloys

Postdoctoral position

Experienced O&G engineers

Process engineer and pipe engineer

Multiple tenure-track faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University

Multiple tenure-track faculty positions

Networking & Knowledge Exchange​​

Optimization of the cathodic protection systems. Virtual

Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa offers a presentation about AC mitigation, investigation, modeling, design, implementation, commissioning, presented by Craig Botha, Reignite (Pty) Ltd – CEO. Botha is a metallurgical engineer dealing with corrosion problems in the O&G, chemical, water, and petrochemical industries for more than 20 years.

Date: Thursday, October 28th of 2021.

Hour: From 15:00 to 16:00 (GMT + 1)

Post-pandemic dynamics and innovation opportunities via TiO₂. Virtual

Coatings world is offering a webinar to find out what trends are shaping the future of coatings and how titanium dioxide can help you prosper in this dynamic landscape and develop brighter, more efficient pigments for the coatings, plastics, and laminates markets. Fostering innovation to improve product quality and customer experiences has always been critical to the brand's success.

Date: Thursday, October 28th of 2021.

Hour: At 14:00 (GMT - 4)

Managing corrosion in water and sewage water. Virtual

NACE International (Now AMPP) offers a two-day course to detect and mitigate corrosion in the water and wastewater sector. Panelists will share problem-solving strategies, case studies, and analytical data from research and development, treatment systems, service troubleshooting, inspection procedures, and anticorrosive methods for water technology.

Dates: From Tuesday, November 02nd to Wednesday, November 03rd of 2021.

Hours: From 10:00 to 12:00 (GMT - 5)

Upcoming events

October 2021

​​October 26th 240th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society. (Link)

October 26th Anti-Corrosion Paint Inspection Fundamentals. (Link)

October 27th Quality control, inspection and standardization in corrosion and materials protection. (Link)

October 27th Corrosion management and failure analysis. (Link)

October 28th Sensors, controls, and digitalization – Solutions for the foundation industries sector (Link)

October 28th Optimization of the cathodic protection systems (Link)

October 28th Post-pandemic dynamics and innovation opportunities via TiO₂ (Link)

November 2021

November 2nd Managing corrosion in water and sewage water (Link)

November 9th Corrosion and Scale Inhibition, Theory, Testing, Application (Link)


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

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash