Materials.Business Weekly ⚙️

April 05, 2022

Quote of the week: “Uncertainty is the engine of science, and a sign of knowledgeable humility.” David Spiegelhalter, statistician, Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge University. The Guardian, 26.11.2020.

From The Editor's Corner

Hi, Leaders, R&D in corrosion and protection is your biz

Technical advancements, scientific discoveries, and technological development have been the rocketing power of innovation, moving progress ahead since the appearance of people on the Earth face. Sometimes for the wrong (e.g., the war), but most of the time for good (e.g., the successful overcoming of the pandemic from which the world is emerging nowadays). Research for war and health are two other reasons to bet on knowledge as a critical factor for solving the most significant challenges and advancing quality of life and generation of richness. All of them are potent reasons for understanding that the total global spending on research and development (R&D) grew four times, almost linearly, from 1996 to 2018, reaching a value of USD $2.232.570 million. A significant effort in which achievements are being harvested in the current Fourth Industrial Revolution. Actions and impacts are unequal between regions and countries. Such benefits are directly linked to the innovation capacity. According to the Global Innovation Index 2021, the Top Ten innovative countries were Switzerland, Sweden, the USA, the UK, Korea, Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, Denmark, and Germany. Inequalities also happen between R&D efforts and the corresponding progress by economic sectors. Trends during the last decades showed that in developed countries like the USA and the European Union, R&D priorities were related to health. Otherwise, R&D priorities in fast-developing countries were connected to manufacturing and related subjects. Globally we find that the information and communication technologies – ICT sector, together with the health sector, contributed about 64 percent of the global industrial investment in R&D in 2021. Two-thirds of such percentage were applied to ICT. A figure related to the accelerated digitalization that we are coping with. Research in other sectors like construction, chemicals, and energy was relatively low, at about six percent. In principle, R&D in corrosion and protection must be closer to these three last sectors, but its investment is not told apart, but it is easier to think that its portion is tiny.

In the end, the picture above is the result of public and private policies. And usually, policies are established looking for attending to specific interests. But many times, policies and decisions are not correct. In general terms, this is the situation with corrosion and anticorrosion. It is not easy to understand how the cost of corrosion as a percentage of the GDP in most countries is at least the same, 70 years after the famous Uhlig reports about the cost of corrosion in the USA. A projection of estimations done by NACE (now AMPP) shows that the global cost of corrosion in 2019 was about USD $4.800.000 million. It could be interesting to assess why such a vast amount has not been enough for governmental and economic leaders who define policies and budgets, promoting and supporting more conscious combat against the deterioration of materials and assets.

Until now, other threats concerning corrosion were even less salient than the cost of the damages. Nonetheless, global threats like climate change, minerals scarcity, and expensive commodities are asking for drastic solutions in post-globalization. Some of them are directly linked to much better protection of materials. Climatic actions are multiplying more every day. The net-zero emissions of CO2 is becoming a common goal in most political and entrepreneurial speeches, and actions are also increasing. For example, the energy transition toward clean and renewable energy sources is the flag of many countries and companies now, explained by environmental, societal, and economic reasons. But the role of materials stability and assets integrity in the sustainability equation is not well-considered. Policies, funds, and projects are far from the possibilities of tackling current huge threats with more research, technology, and innovation around corrosion and protection of the materials supporting changes like the energy transition, the exploration of new sources of natural resources, the life-extension of the infrastructure, and so on. Recently, colleague Milos Djukic, professor at the University of Belgrade and an internationally recognized expert on hydrogen fragilization, claimed that "The awareness of decision-makers and EU hydrogen energy promoters regarding materials-hydrogen interactions and hydrogen embrittlement of steel pipelines and other components is low." Other voices propose steps for greener steel, including a reduction of its consumption, but forget that about ten percent of the produced steel is devoted to substitute corroded parts and equipment.

Corrosion and protection must be an issue for environmentalists and people in general and, obviously, political and entrepreneurial leaders. There are more than enough reasons for rocketing corrosion science and engineering with the proper public and private policies and instruments, including funds, education programs, international collaboration, etc. In conclusion, politicians and businesspeople must be effectively aware of corrosion and protection for the coming challenging times.

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

Prof. Carlos Arroyave, Ph.D. Editor.

Materials Biz News

Corrosion awareness by pictures

Some of the activities promoting Corrosion Awareness Day on April 24 are concerned with photographic competitions. One of them is a call by the Spanish Society of Materials - SOCIEMAT, related to submitting pictures about corrosion. Both images of objects and photomicrographs under any kind of microscopy, retouched or not, are acceptable. The dateline for submission of photographs is April 22, 2022. Then, will be selected two winners, each one will be awarded a diploma and a gift valued at 50 euros.

Biomimetics playing again for anticorrosive measurements

Recent news by the ASM refers to the advancements in the imitation of the water-repellency of leaves as the lotus plant for technological applications. In this case, the innovation is related to a plastic thin film named Repel Warp, which exhibits a microscopic texture that excludes external molecules such as bacteria. In addition to health applications, there are many other options where pathogens prevention is crucial. This is the case of microbiological induced corrosion – MIC, a common situation for Corrosionists, which can find at least partial solutions using Repel Warp.


A great R&D leader for a global company

Director of the materials design department at strategic research

Consolidating the presence in the Central American market of industrial coatings

Territory Manager

Networking & Knowledge Exchange

Bringing new materials from the lab to market

Virtual. The Henry Royce Institute will be hosting the seminar “Introduction to Advanced Materials Commercialization and Entrepreneurship.” This event aims to motivate Ph.D. students, researchers, and other people involved with the subjects like entrepreneurship and materials research to move ideas about advanced materials toward the business sector by converting them into innovative commercial products and services.

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Time: 10:00 – 12:00 BT (GMT + 1)

Learning and updating basic knowledge against corrosion in the industry

Virtual. Our colleague Laerce de Paula Nunes will be the speaker in a seminar organized by the Brazilian Association of Corrosion and Protection - ABRACO. Eng. Nunes will discuss an industrial and systemic approach toward the soil, water, and atmospheric corrosivity to contribute to a proper selection of anticorrosive methods.

Registration deadline: Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Time: 1:30 – 20:20 BRT (GMT - 3)

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 Brooke Lark on Unsplash