| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free ebook on Ultra-High-Pressure Waterjetting

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Self-Healing Coating May Aid Water Systems

Monday, January 3, 2011

Comment | More

A New Jersey nanotech firm is developing an environmentally friendly, self-healing, corrosion-control coating that could provide critical assistance in restoring the nation’s aging water infrastructure.

The initial research, by NEI Corp., of Somerset, NJ, was underwritten by a $69,996 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Water Infrastructure, Pipelines

The coating is designed to address two problems: internal and external corrosion of the nation’s water infrastructure and the need to develop corrosion protection for pipelines to carry alternative water sources for non-potable applications, according to EPA’s final report on the first phase of the project.

These alternate water sources contain high levels of dissolved salts, ammonia, and other constituents that can corrode the piping materials.

Healing without Chromium

Currently, toxic chromium is the only commonly used corrosion-control agent that has self-healing characteristics, which are critical to extending the life span of protective coatings, EPA’s report notes. “Use of chromium for wastewater treatment is now banned, however, due to its negative health effects.”

“A cost-effective and environmentally benign corrosion-control measure is required to extend the lifespan of aging water infrastructure and facilitate use of alternate water sources.”

80-Year-Old Pipes

Most of the nation’s water infrastructure is aging rapidly, according to EPA. About 30% of the major water systems’ pipes are 40 to 80 years old, and about 10% are more than 80 years old. These systems are vulnerable to internal and external corrosion, resulting in pipe leaks and water main breaks, according to EPA.

NEI’s self-healing, chromium-free, nanocomposite surface treatment would protect piping materials even at high contaminant concentrations. The coating “has demonstrated barrier properties and damage responsive behavior for sodium chloride and water diffusion under marine (3% salt) conditions,” EPA says.

In the first phase of the project, NEI integrated the self-healing surface treatment to existing copper, copper alloys, and carbon steel pipes to enable protection against ammonia and dissolved salts. Eventually, researchers plan to develop optimum corrosion protection formulations against different water quality constituents and piping materials.

Extending Infrastructure Life

“It is anticipated that the proposed application will extend the infrastructure life, lower the rehabilitation cost, and facilitate use of alternate water sources,” EPA reports.

“The proposed self-healing nanocomposite material is environmentally benign and not expensive. Furthermore, this technology allows the use of an alternate source for non-potable applications, thereby making precious fresh water sources available to meet the increasing demand.”

About NEI

NEI Corp., founded in 1997, manufactures protective coatings, anti-corrosion coatings and other nanomaterial products and provides contract-based R&D for public and private entities. The company’s American NanoMyte division develops and manufactures coating formulations that inhibit corrosion of steel, aluminum and magnesium.

“American NanoMyte currently offers the first ‘green’ self-healing anticorrosion coating system for metals,” the company says on its web site. “Our coatings—pretreatments, primers and topcoats—are built on a proprietary nanotechnology platform that protects metals and their alloys by slowing down corrosion mechanisms and stimulating autonomous processes that heal scratches or repair damage to the coating layers with little or no outside intervention.”

A video of one of NEI’s self-healing coatings is available at


Tagged categories: Corrosion; Corrosion control coatings; Corrosion protection; Infrastructure; Protective coatings

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Wasser Coatings Protect

Wasser Coatings offer a complete range of Moisture Cure Urethane (NEPCOAT approved) systems in addition to Polyurea membranes and linings(NSF).

Specialty Products, Inc. (SPI)

After 40 years in the coating business, SPI has trained more industry professionals than any other polyurea manufacturer. Now offering more classes at more locations than ever before!

International Paint LLC
Light Duty Protective Coatings

Check out our expanded line of alkyd, acrylic and waterborne epoxy coatings.

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Truss bridge treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 1995. This highway & rail truss bridge is still stable and there still is no active corrosion.

Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

U.S. Zinc
Service. Better With U.S.

From custom-blend zinc dust products to technical support, logistics and environmental compliance, we are there for you.

Thermion Inc
Buy Back Program

We are offering $5,000
credit for your old Model
This drive system is
being discontinued by
the manufacturer.
More information at

Midsun Specialty Products
Stopaq 30+ Year Coatings

Use Stopaq corrosion prevention coatings on pipelines, field joints, tank chimes, structural steel and more. Learn more at

Elcometer, Inc.
New Elcometer 456 Coating Thickness Gauge

Best In Class Just Got Better. Technologically Intelligent And Robust. Marvelous Design And Durability. An Earth-Shattering Revolution In Coating Inspection.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail