Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

March 22, 2022

Quote of the week: “Don’t listen to the person who has the answers; listen to the person who has the questions.” Albert Einstein.

​ From The Editor's Corner

Hey, folks, corrosion is your biz!

One month ahead, on April 24, we, the international community of Corrosionists, will be celebrating the “Corrosion Awareness Day.” It is a particular date aimed to promote the importance of fighting corrosion. That means an opportunity to strengthen the appropriation of the weight of avoiding and fighting materials and assets deterioration because of the environment where they are exposed or used. This expectation is more important than ever due to the impact of the anticorrosive measurements on sustainability requirements. An appropriation by the community in general, through education and campaigns at the possible levels. But mainly the awareness of certain fundamental actors in decision-making concerning materials handling and management. We speak about the Triple Helix actors, including rulers, industrialists, and academics. Such motivation has many facets, but probably the more important is education. Unfortunately, “corrosion and protection” as an academic subject becomes like a traditional one, in a much less attractive position in the face of apparently fewer complex issues or those that have been emerging, such as ICTs and, more recently, the technologies characterizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Historically, corrosion and anticorrosion were subjects concerning chemistry, physics, and biology, with applications through conventional engineering like Mechanical, Electrical, Metallurgical, Civil, Chemical, etc. However, engineering students and teachers preferred to look for novel technologies, “far from mathematics and other basic sciences (STEM),” and more demanded by the labor market. Nonetheless, currently, the market is showing other trends. As an example, the weekly publication of recruitment calls here in Materials.Bussiness shows how companies are entering the post-globalization times, asking for data engineers to do jobs entirely concerned with corrosion and assets protection. Another clue of the industry’s path is the growing number of patent submissions related to corrosion challenges and proposed solutions supported by the new technologies. Right skilled personnel must be keeping industrial competitiveness in the following years, and here we can speak about a skills gap that Corrosionists must solve. Neither conventional corrosion and anticorrosion skills nor tech skills alone are enough. In other words, right now is necessary to answer to the market-pull requirements, and students and universities are called to respond accordingly.

Intelligent businesses show the pathway. Megatrends are its borderlines but also the boosters. We are talking about environmental, sanitary, societal, and economic threats that successful companies must face with the tools provided by the new industrial revolution, that of the integration of the physical and digital worlds. Tools quickened appropriated by the industry thanks to the pandemic threats. They permeate the whole productive sector and show valuable results when applied to solve corrosion problems. Recent news shows many examples of corrosion problem solutions supported by the new technologies, mainly digital technologies. Looking at the mentioned application patents, we have solutions for energy storage in batteries applying nanotechnology to produce protective anticorrosive nanolayers. Also, nanotechnology is being used to develop coatings to protect electronic circuits against moisture. And a combination of artificial intelligence and blockchain is applied for improving the maintenance procedure of buildings and structures. Furthermore, more and more often, we found news about new techs used for solving corrosion challenges: drones for assets inspection and monitoring; robots doing hard work better; easier recovery and recycling of materials thanks to artificial intelligence; virtual and augmented reality making more manageable and better personnel training; data analytics for leak detection in surface pipelines; internet of things for remote control of industrial operations; online monitoring of internal corrosive conditions in harsh environments; a flying microchip for atmospheric data-collection; and a list of other promising answers to the challenges arriving, that every day becomes longer.

We can say that integrating the real and virtual worlds leads to integrating the trendy subjects in the university and the industry requirements.

It is time to close the gap. We need new Corrosionists well-prepared in STEM and trained in digital skills. The university, pupils, and teachers must be aware of the opportunity and importance of such integration.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Playing with rust to solve the biggest challenge of the energy transition

The run towards energy consumption in agreement with the requirements of global warming challenges finds its most critical point in the storage between the time of generation and use. For many years, electrochemical solutions have distinguished themselves among the best options for energy storage. Nowadays, Li-ion batteries are preferred by the market, and developments like electric vehicles are supported in such technology. But constraints like the need for strategic raw materials and the high cost of the batteries are severe limiting factors for its use. Alternative batteries are being investigated in many places, and one of the exciting options is to go back to the beginning. This is the case with the Fe-air batteries. Professor Yet-Ming Chiang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is researching in his start-up how to take advantage of the cycle of corrosion of iron in air and rust reduction or “reverse rusting” as a proper system for very cheap storage energy at least in static conditions. Chiang hopes to have the technology working in 2024 at prices around 10% of the Li-ion batteries.

A call to become involved in a project about pipe monitoring

TWI, The Welding Institute in Cambridge, U.K., is inviting companies to join a new research project to investigate the use of graphene and magnetic field-based sensors for monitoring non-metallic composite pipes in the O&G industry. According to TWI, graphene-based sensors show good thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties with minimum intrusion; and magnetic field-based sensors allow the detection and readability of magnetic or electric field changes. Efforts will be focused on assessing the performance of both kinds of sensors for continuous monitoring of pipes at the lab, pilot, and industrial scales. The goals of the project are:

  • To create a method for continuous monitoring and early warning detection.
  • The reduction of catastrophic failures in composite pipes and connectors leading to reduced maintenance and repair costs.
  • Maximizing the working life of non-metallic pipe assets and connectors.
  • Reducing the need for costly manual inspection.


A C-level officer for the energy transition

Business Advisor – Cathode Active Material

Inventing the materials of the future

Ph.D. student

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Innovating in plastics

In-person. The School of Engineering of the ESPOL University in Ecuador will host its fifth version of the “Diploma in technological innovation of plastics.” The course aims to contribute to the advancement of the plastics industry to adapt and innovate processes and products in increasingly demanding and competitive markets. Specific subjects to be considered include:

  • Relationships between the process, the structure, and the final properties of the polymeric products
  • Bioplastics
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Trends in food packaging
  • Testing
  • Optimization of energy and raw materials

Dates: April 5 to December 7 of 2022.

Venue: ESPOL campus, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Corrosion: Fundamentals and Experimental Methods

Virtual. The above is the course title offered by the College of Engineering of The Ohio State University. The event is an introduction to the basics of corrosion and a refreshing opportunity for Corrosionists and includes both live video lectures and lab demonstrations. Professors will be four recognized colleagues: Gerald Frankel, Jenifer Locke, and Eric Schindelholz from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio University, and Rudy Buchheit, Dean of the College of Engineering, University of Kentucky. Subjects to be covered are:

  • Thermodynamics of corrosion
  • Kinetics of corrosion
  • Polarization
  • Corrosion rate measurement techniques
  • Passivity/localized corrosion
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Environment Assisted Cracking
  • Corrosion protection with Coatings
  • Atmospheric Corrosion

Dates: May 2 to 6 of 2022.

Time: 08:00 EST (GMT – 4)

Upcoming events

May 2022

May 29th The Electrochemical Society (ECS) 241st Meeting. (Link)

August 2022

August 28th Digital innovations for improving safety in chemical plants. (Link)

August 28th EUROCORR 2022. (Link)

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash