Materials Performance

NOV 2014

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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6 NOVEMBER 2014 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE NACE INTERNATIONAL: VOL. 53, NO. 11 Water Treatment Additive Linked to Sewer Corrosion A research team with the Advanced Water Man- agement Cen- tre (AW MC) at the University of Queensland (Brisbane St Lucia, Queensland, Australia) discovered that switching to sulfate-free coagulants, additives in the drinking water treatment process, can reduce sewer corrosion. Alu- minum sulfate [Al 2 (SO 4 ) 3 ], a common co- agulant, can be a key contributor to the sulfate levels in sewage. Sulfate is the pri- mary source of hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S), a major contributor to sewer corrosion be- cause it leads to the rapid degradation of concrete. Their discovery stems from an extensive industry survey across Austra- lia, as well as a two-year sampling cam- paign in South East Queensland and a comprehensive, model-based scenario analysis of various sulfate sources. To learn more, visit w w w.uq.edu.au. Computer Model Aids Leaner Aircraft Design Designing lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft will be made easier by a computer model that ac- curately pre- dicts how composite ma- terials behave when damaged. Researchers at Imperial College London (London, United King- dom), working with Airbus and funding from the Engineering and Physical Sci- ences Research Council (EPSRC), devel- oped innovative computer codes to form a computer model that shows how an air- craft's composite component would behave when damaged. Any tiny cracks that spread through the composite material can be predicted using this model. Currently, failure mechanisms affecting composite panels are not as well understood because the industry has more experience using metals, so aircraft designers compensate by over-reinforcing composite panels. For more information, visit www.epsrc.ac.uk. Magnesium Surgical Implants Designed to Corrode A researcher with the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida) has developed a surgi- cal pin that biodegrades and also aids in healing. Because some metal surgical im- plants do not need to be permanent fixtures in the body, the idea is that the pin—made from magnesium, a bone-building nutri- ent—will serve a nutritional need as it cor- rodes and dissolves over time in the body. Physicians first experimented with magne- sium in the early 1800s, but the metal pro- duced visible hydrogen gas bubbles under the skin as it degraded. According to the re- searcher, the human body cannot handle hydrogen in large doses and pockets form. The key to using magnesium is to slow down the corrosion rate so it discharges hy- drogen gradually, giving the body time to absorb the hydrogen and release it. Magne- sium could also be used as a coating on an implant to promote bone growth. To learn more, visit w w w.news.uf l.edu. Graphene Paint Forms Impermeable Barrier for Corrosion Protection New findings from researchers at the Uni- versity of Manchester (Manchester, United Kingdom) show a thin layer of graphene paint, which is optically transparent, can form an impermeable and chemical- resistant coating that protects metal struc- tures against corrosion. The structure of graphene oxide film comprises millions of small, randomly stacked f lakes with nano- size capillaries between them that are vac- uum tight under dry conditions but attrac- tive to water molecules when exposed to water or its vapor. The research team found it is possible to tightly close these nano- capillaries using simple chemical treat- ments, which makes graphene oxide films completely impermeable to gases, liquids, and strong chemicals, as well as stronger mechanically and nearly as tough as gra- phene, the strongest material known to man. For more information, visit w w w. manchester.ac.uk. —Kathy Riggs Larsen Bridge Monitoring System Incorporates Wireless Sensors and Quadcopters A wireless sensor system that will monitor the condition of bridges in real time is being developed by researchers at the Tuft University (Medford, Massachusetts) School of Engineering. Smart sensors perma- nently attached to bridge beams and joints would continuously record vibrations and process the recorded signals. Changes in the vibration response would signif y damage. As part of the system, autonomous quadrotor helicopters (quadcopters) would hover near the sensors and collect data while taking visual images of bridge conditions. The quad copters would then transmit the sensor data to a central collection point for analysis. A major goal of the research is to develop computer algorithms that can automatically detect damage in a bridge from changes in its vibration mea- surements. For more information, visit now.tufts.edu. UP FRONT

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