Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

December 29, 2020

Quote of the week: “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

From The Editor's Corner


​Corrosion management in the New Normal

Megatrends have been changing the world during the last few years, summarized as integrating the real and the digital worlds. Changes in corrosion protection and asset integrity management have been forced to change too. It is not only an answer to the new challenge, but it also strengthens efforts about old problems, many of them concerning direct management practices. On the other side, sustainability risks growth in a way more disturbing than ever. A significant part of solutions is related to materials engineering and, more specifically, to materials and asset integrity. Suddenly, 2020 arrived with a world tragedy, which has plunged the world into a crisis never imagined. Management duties have changed, and materials integrity staff face unexpected challenges because ‘corrosion was not in quarantine,’ but much of the countermeasures were. We are talking about more problems and difficulties, higher costs, and other unwelcome consequences.

But the crisis is the perfect climate for innovation and further development. There are some identified outcomes supporting the expected picture after the Covid-19, the so-called ‘New Normal.’ A series of new characteristics, bad and good that must be part of the successful planning and management of enterprises over the next years. In principle, scientific knowledge becomes more relevant. Besides, changes at work include, for example, more home office and fewer business travels. Economic effects are enormous, including problems like the increase of inequality and the decimation of small businesses. Furthermore, short and long-term social consequences are arising. The last ones include the possibility of a pandemic world forever. Positive signs emerge, including a new sense of being part of the collective, more human, sharing dreams and visions. Hopefully, a more gregarious and supportive spirit. Better conditions for understanding and exploiting diversity and multidisciplinary. More confidence and better circumstances for collaboration, integration, and networking, even from a distance.

A known win-win network

Five decades ago, Jorge Sábato, an Argentinian metallurgist and policymaker, proposed a model of scientific police supported on the relevance of a collaborative triangle government – university (academy) – business. In the 1990s, Netherlander professors L. Leydesdorff and H. Etzkowitz went deeper into the model and, inspired in biomimetic, transformed the triangle into a DNA Triple Helix. Moreover, they imagine a systemic model with the three actors interrelated intimately in a common benefit strategic partnership. It is a relationship in agreement with the theory of the knowledge economy proposed by Robert Solow in 1956 and aimed to better fulfill each of the parties’ missions. A knowledge network where the university can strengthen its role as the knowledge enterprise, the company succeeds in its social responsibility described by Milton Friedman to increase its profits and the government as the catalyzer of the population's socio-economic development whole.​

The USA is an excellent example of the success of the Triple Helix Model. A country where academia puts research capabilities as a breeding ground. Companies and the government put money. The government establishes proper conditions for fruitful interaction, i.e., the Bayh–Dole Act or Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act adopted in 1980 for ruling contract agreements and exploitation of results obtained with federal funding and expected by the companies. This collaboration is one of the main reasons we mention the best university system and the best strongest entrepreneurial conglomeration worldwide. Furthermore, the current development of the SARS-CoV-2 is an example of the power of the Triple Helix collaboration. Responsibilities on the success are shared, but failure, too. The situation in most of the countries is diverse. Often, academia is the “ivory tower” of the former centuries, planning and working far from societal needs, without any stakeholders' incidence. Companies do not trust the academy; they expect the university to be an "employees' factory." Sometimes, they approach the university with the idea that they are just fulfilling their social responsibility. Finally, governments trust neither the academy nor corporations. Moreover, their policies are not aligned to the relevance of scientific and technological knowledge as a factor of richness generation.

Networking is a powerful tool for humankind's development in the coming decades. Nowadays, it is possible to say that the Triple Helix Model is a useful instrument aligning efforts from those three essential social actors: academies, corporations, and governments. A dedicated and most vigorous collaboration will allow using vast amounts of multidisciplinary theoretical knowledge for practical and complex applications for all society's benefit in the post-globalized world, that of the New Normal. The ‘old’ Triple Helix Model becomes more relevant than ever.​

Triple helix for materials caring

Management considerations for the next few years must account for facts such as those mentioned above concerning the social and economic changes that are taking place. Asset integrity and corrosion managers need to consider these, and one of the opportunities to do so is to promote and participate in the Triple Helix collaboration actively. However, the most critical point is related to the partnership between academia and business. The sum of efforts between companies, universities, laboratories, research teams, and other knowledge-generating spaces is essential in the face of the complex challenges that arise simultaneously from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a suitable development, climate change, and post-Corona times. The European Union has recently promoted some experiments on Triple Helix collaborative platforms on specific topics or knowledge domains, such as information technology, water, and clean energy. They are good examples of a pathway that can drive the evolution of corrosion and asset management. Some of the lessons learned include the following:​

- Voluntary membership.

- The same level of presence from industry and academia

- Recognition of different origins and goals

- Consensual research agendas with shared purposes

- Cross-sectors collaboration

- The appearance of the magical synergy ( as in Silicon Valley)

- To end upbringing R&D closer to the market and society.

A call is made to promote local, national, regional, and finally, global Triple Helix networks in international integration, addressing the corrosion of materials and the assets' integrity. Undoubtedly, most of the functions fall on the leading players, but existing and future associations and other organizations can play a relevant role. Policies that seed such efforts will be welcome but not indispensable. Collaboration is complicated, but with a model like the Triple Helix, it's worth it.

Remember: Protection of materials and equipment is good business!

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

And exploration restarts

One more time, humankind exhibits its capacity to find pathways for the challenges emerging from its development. One of the growing difficulties is related to the depletion of mineral sources on the earth. Options under exploration include palliative exploitation of urban scrap or urban mining for secondary raw materials production, exploitation of the seabed, and minerals from the space bodies. An exciting piece of news in this direction concerns the current Chinese Chang’e-5 mission to capture lunar rocks. After more than 40 years of the USA's and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - USSR, initial exploratory journeys, this is the first initiative. The goal is the Rümker’s region, a geological formation of volcanic rocks, around 1.300 million to 1.400 million years old. According to the previous studies, such an area is rich in potassium, rare-Earth elements, and phosphorous, often called KREEP elements. The samples will be shared with research centers worldwide.


​​Recognition for our outstanding colleagues

The European Federation of Corrosion – EFC, is calling for nominations for the following EFC Awards 2021:

- European Corrosion Medal. As recognition for corrosion science applications by individuals or groups belonging to a Member Society of the EFC, who work within Europe. Some of the laureates before are Graham C. Wood, D. Landolt, E. Kalman, G. Schmitt, C. Leygraf, Herman Terryn, Philippe Marcus, Mario Ferreira, Fátima Montemor, and Stuart Lyon.

- Kurt Schwabe Prize. An award presented to a young corrosionist below 35 years of age recognizes her/his scientific and technical contribution. Former honored colleagues are I. Felhosi, M.P. Ryan, T. Prosek, L. Martinelli, R. Solmaz, Marta Mohedano, and Andrea Quaini.

- Honorary Fellowship of the EFC. Don Harrop, Pier Luigi Bonora, Michael Schütze, and Antoine Pourbaix are some of the colleagues recognized for their outstanding contribution in corrosion science and engineering or their commitment to the EFC.

-Read More-

​Measurement of the company’s environmental engagement

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched Circulytics® 2.0. It is a measurement tool supporting company’s qualitative and quantitative movements to the circular economy through an automated scoring process. A group of indicators designed to measure the performance to which a business has achieved circularity purposes across its operations. Outcomes of the measurement practice would be useful for:

- Identification of opportunities to generate environmental benefits (raw materials, long-life extension, and waste possibilities).

- Decision-making and strategic development for circular economy adoption.

- Providing transparency to investors and customers about a company’s circular economy adoption.

- Benchmarking across more industries.

- Opening up new opportunities to generate brand value with key stakeholders.

-Learn More-


Working in the energy transition Spain

TECNALIA, a renowned research center in San Sebastian, Spain, is seeking a Chemical Engineer interested in developing projects in hydrogen energy-related processes. The expected background includes an M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering or similar with five or more years of experience or a Ph.D. degree. Some of the duties are developing a process engineering of pilot plants, designing small lab scale test installations, and project lead. A certificate of disability equal to or greater than 33% will be a bonus.

Mechanical engineering for health New York

HILLROM, a worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services for the health care industry, is looking for a Senior Manager Mechanical Engineer based in Skaneateles Falls, New York. The position's primary responsibilities are to lead an R&D team of Mechanical Engineers to develop and implement engineering strategies for new product development programs that align with the strategic roadmap for the front-line care product portfolio. Basic requirements are a BS in Mechanical Engineering, at least 15 years of experience, and strong leadership skills.

Director for the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program Lab Canberra

The College of Engineering and Computer Science of the Australian National University in Canberra is searching for a Senior Technical Officer. A degree in Electrical Engineering and relevant experience in laboratory management is required. Duties to be assumed are establishing and managing systems and procedures relating to all aspects of the laboratory of battery storage and grid integration, mentoring users, and specialist advice for other stakeholders.

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Coating systems for the Circular Economy Virtual

Our colleague James Kunkle, Protective Coatings Specialist and Business Development Manager invite us to watch a video about ’Coating Systems: Industrial Secondary Containment.’ This speech is the first from the “Carboline Technical Series” on his YouTube channel. Covered topics include:

- What is Industrial Secondary Containment?

- Commodity Types Found in Containment?

- Determining Design Considerations for Secondary Containment Needs?

- What Construction Details Apply to Secondary Containment?

- What Appropriate Coating Systems are for Secondary Containment?

Towards a more virtual corrosion networking world Virtual

NACE International has announced that the CORROSION 2021 Conference has been moved to a virtual format. Furthermore, this new format includes a program of activities going from April 19th to 30th, 2021. Besides, a lot of changes have been implemented looking for taking advantage of the information technologies. In principle, all the previously planned activities will be scheduled. And deadlines will be updated soon.

Delve into wear issues Virtual

Live and on-demand. From April 26th to 28th, 2021 will be held the 23rd International Conference on Wear of Materials. The event offers the opportunity of live interactive attendance at 9:30 – 14:00 EST (USA) or on-demand until May 29th, 2020. Participation in ePoster sessions, one-by-one networking opportunities, visit s to the live exhibition booths, and chat with exhibitors, are also included. The conference will focus on advances in understanding both the fundamental and applied aspects of wear and friction of materials. Particular emphasis will be on aviation and aerospace applications, renewable and sustainable technologies, bio tribology, engine tribology, tool wear, modeling and simulation, and surface texturing for wear reduction. Deadlines are:

- Poster abstract submission: February 5th, 2021

- Author registration: March 5th, 2021

- Registration for live participation (non-presenting delegates): April 23rd, 2021

We hope you had a merry christmas and see you next year!

Material Business Team

Photo by Romain Tordo on Unsplash