Smart coatings for metals sound like something out of science fiction. The technology behind it is an incredible process which is being widely used in medical, military, transport and construction industries.
What are smart coatings, and how do they work?
Defining Smart Coatings
Smart coatings are programmable films which coat a product and perform a particular function. In this instance, we’re referring to smart coatings on metals which have anti-corrosive or self-healing properties.
These coatings merge design and function to serve as protection as well as decoration and remain passive until exposed to certain stimuli such as changes in heat, chemical or light.
How do They Work?
Smart coatings are, indeed, smart!
Those that have been designed for corrosion protection work in four ways to achieve their goal.
The sentinels responsible for detecting a change in chemical balance are housed within neutral pH capsules. They remain in this dormant state until they are needed.
If corrosion starts the pH balance of the capsule is affected and this causes the protective shell to hydrolyse and break down.
Once this tiny capsule disintegrates, it releases its contents in the form of corrosive inhibitors.
The self-healing properties of the compounds repair the damage on a microscopic scale and protect the compromised area with a protective film.
This invisible process can continue thousands of times over many years and serves as a brilliantly efficient way of maintaining the integrity of metal components which may otherwise be compromised by corrosion.
Further, these smart coatings reduce maintenance costs and the risk of failing equipment – a win-win, you’ll agree.
If you need to know more about smart coatings and how they are used in various projects, please call the Steelmor team.
With decades of experience and a highly skilled team, we are in an excellent position to help you to make the best decisions for your project.