Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials presented a new composite material at the recent TechConnect World trade fair in Washington, D.C. The material prevents metal corrosion in an environmentally friendly way, even under extreme conditions.

Despite only being a few micrometers thick, the protective layer prevents penetration by gases and electrolytes. It also protects against corrosion caused by aggressive aqueous solutions, including seawater and salt spray on roads, or aqueous acids such as acid rain.

“The key is the structuring of this layer – the protective particles arrange themselves like roof tiles,” explained Carsten Becker-Willinger, head of the Nanomers Program Division at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials. “As in a wall, several layers of particles are placed on top of each other in an offset arrangement. The result is a self-organized, highly structured barrier.”

The composite is applied by spraying or other wet chemistry processes and cures at 150-200°C. After thermal curing, the composite adheres to the metal substrate, is abrasion-stable and impact-resistant. It can be applied on steels, metal alloys, aluminum, magnesium and copper of any shape.