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$2M Grant Fuels R&D On Greener Infrastructure Coating

Monday, March 14, 2011

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With a $2 million R&D jumpstart from a technology nonprofit, the University of Akron and MesoCoat Inc. will partner on an emissions-reducing metal coating for infrastructure.

The collaborative effort will involve development, testing, qualification, commercialization and technical risk reduction of an advanced inorganic cladding called CermaClad, a high-energy density, large-area coating and cladding technology.

Pipeline Coatings

Targeted for tubular steel, steel plate, valves and flanges used oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure, the metal cladding and hybrid powder coating will be developed by MesoCoat and tested for life extension and cost reduction projections by Mark Soucek, UA professor of polymer engineering, and his student research team.

“This inorganic nanocomposite coating provides reductions in emissions and cost for conventional and alternate energy production infrastructure,” says Andrew Sherman, CEO and founder of MesoCoat. “It also makes possible energy savings and cost reductions through the life extension of the steel used in transportation and energy generation.”


Photos: University of Akron

The new coating reduces emissions and
cost for energy production infrastructure,
said Andrew Sherman, CEO and founder
of MesoCoat

Based in Euclid, OH, MesoCoat is a nanotech materials science company focused on metal protection and repair through long-life coating and high-speed cladding technologies.

Lab Testing and Validation

UA’s laboratory “also will develop the powder coating based on previously published and unpublished work, and also scale up the powder coating with equipment funded by” capital funding that will be used to build a joint-use lab, says Soucek. “The University of Akron will provide third-party testing and validation to the process and end performance of the coated steel for MesoCoat.”

Dr. Mark Soucek, professor of polymer engineering and professor
of chemistry, removes a powder-coated plate from a Weather-Ometer
after light, moisture and temperature testing.

Students studying corrosion and reliability engineering at UA will serve as project interns trained and poised for future engineering positions, which are expected with MesoCoat’s anticipated growth.

The powder coating developed at UA also may transfer as a startup company.

Corrosion Engineering

UA is home to the nation’s first undergraduate degree in Corrosion Engineering and Reliability and an associated research center.

Backed by $10 million in federal and private funding, the new program and research center are training professionals to tackle the nation’s rapidly growing corrosion crisis, which costs the U.S. economy about $300 billion per year, officials say. The program is housed within the Department of Chemical Engineering.

The goal of the Ohio Third Frontier Advanced Materials Program (AMP) is to accelerate the development and growth of the advanced materials industry in Ohio. Preference is given to projects in polymer and carbon nano-materials, liquid crystals, and bio-based materials.

Ohio Third Frontier is a $2.3 billion initiative that supports applied research and commercialization, entrepreneurial assistance, early-stage capital formation, and expansion of a skilled talent pool that can support technology-based economic growth.


Tagged categories: Coatings technology; Infrastructure; Research

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