AkzoNobel has forged a five-year partnership with a leading UK corrosion research center to advance the study of corrosion prevention methods and technologies, including new coatings.
The deal will team experts from the world’s largest paint and coatings company with scientists from the University of Manchester’s renowned Corrosion and Protection Center. The initiative is expected to lead to new corrosion prevention coatings and new understanding of corrosion processes.
|Dr. Stuart Lyon, of the University of Manchester’s Corrosion and Protection Center, will direct the research.|
“This will allow for vital work to be undertaken to help tackle the annual $2.2 trillion global annual cost of corrosion, accounting for over 3% of the world’s GDP,” AkzoNobel said in a statement.
The project, scheduled to begin in April, also includes the appointment of Dr. Stuart Lyon as the university’s new AkzoNobel Professor of Corrosion Protection. Lyon, an esteemed corrosion scientist who directs the CPC, is a former President of the Institute of Corrosion (ICorr) and is currently Managing Director of Correx Ltd., the trading subsidiary of ICorr.
Why Paints Work (or Don’t)
Lyon, who will oversee the partnership’s research agenda, noted that the CPC “has been focused on the understanding and control of industrially critical corrosion problems” for more than 40 years.
The new initiative builds on a longstanding collaboration between the center and International Paint, AkzoNobel’s marine and protective coating division, Lyon said.
|The new partnership builds on the university’s long relationship with AkzoNobel’s International Paint division. AkzoNobel sells nearly $2 billion in corrosion control coatings each year.|
The partnership “will provide sustained research funding in order to understand in detail why paints work and, more importantly, why they don’t work,” said Lyon. “This understanding will feed into rules that will enable the most effective and environmentally friendly protective coatings and corrosion inhibitors to be designed for the most challenging environments.”
AkzoNobel’s Simon Gibbon said the partnership would help the company plumb the science behind more sustainable materials.
“Such a partnership is unique in corrosion protection” and will leverage both parties’ “expertise and knowledge of these globally important challenges,” said Gibbon, who heads AkzoNobel’s Corrosion Protection Community of Practice. "It will accelerate the process of translating new science and understanding to new products in the market."
The new program will employ several doctoral and post-doctoral students to work on projects with AkzoNobel technical involvement and provide AkzoNobel access to the CPC’s equipment, techniques, consulting expertise and training.
Officials say the partnership will allow the CPC to learn more about the mechanisms of corrosion formation, while supporting additional exploration in the science of corrosion and the development of additional prevention technologies.
Research questions include:
• What causes some paints to prevent corrosion and others to fail?
• What coating-substrate interactions help prevent corrosion?
• How can one predict the lifetime of a coating? and
• How can corrosion be detected before it is visible?
Officials expect the partnership to attract additional external funding and to strengthen AkzoNobel’s relationships with key customers, many of whom already collaborate with the CPC.
With annual sales of more than more than $1.9 billion US, AkzoNobel has leading positions in the supply of corrosion inhibition coatings and specialty chemicals to the transport, oilfield and construction markets.
Video: Professor Brian Derby, of the University of Manchester, discusses the new partnership.