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Prof Licenses Green Protective Coating

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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An Eastern Michigan University coatings researcher has partnered with a Michigan-based company to commercialize a chromate-free protective coating developed by his team.

The coating is the flagship product of six patent-pending inventions developed over the last seven years by Dr. Vijay Mannari, students and fellow researchers at EMU’s Coatings Research Institute.

 Dr. Vijay Mannari of EMU’s Coatings Research Institute


Dr. Vijay Mannari holds a sample of his new chromate-free protective coating.

The new coating is a chromate-free, anti-corrosive pretreatment for metals—basically, a protective coating that inhibits rust. Researchers say the coating may replace commercially available protective coatings based on the carcinogen hexavalent chromium, whose use as a corrosion inhibitor is being increasingly restricted.

‘Huge Market’

“The product is an innovative system based on Sol-Gel technology that is much safer than existing products, yet comparable in performance,” said Mannari, an associate professor of polymers and coatings with experience in both academics and industrial fields.

“It’s a huge market,” Mannari says. “Anybody who uses structural aluminum uses these coatings.”



The Coatings Research Institute at Eastern Michigan University includes the Surface Science Lab and partners with the University of Southern Mississippi in a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperation Research Center (NSF I/UCRC) in coatings.

The Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recently awarded Mannari’s team two grants totaling $125,000, to help bring the coatings to market.

The new coating will be commercialized through an agreement with Plascore Inc., of Zeeland, MI, a global manufacturer of honeycomb core and composite structures used in aerospace, marine, military, safety and transportation industries that use coatings on many of their products.

Plascore Inc. is eager to embrace sustainable “green” technologies, the company said in a statement issued by EMU.

Sustainable Coatings, Polymers

Members of Mannari’s team have focused their efforts on developing sustainable polymers and coatings that use renewable sources.

Over seven years, they have produced six patent-pending coatings designed to protect metal, wood, plastic and building materials in the automobile, aerospace, transportation, packaging and building industries. 

 The coating technology has been licensed to Plascore Inc., which manufactures honeycomb core and other products for defense, aviation and aircraft applications.


The coating technology has been licensed to Plascore Inc., which manufactures honeycomb core and other products for defense, aviation and aircraft applications.

Other green technologies Mannari’s team is developing include UV-curable coatings made from soybean oil.

“Development of ‘green’ coating materials and technologies is more important than ever before,” Mannari said, “and the Coatings Research Institute has the unique capability to help the state and the country, through the innovation and commercialization of its in-house research.”

Founded in 1985, the Coatings Research Institute is organized and operates within National Science Foundation guidelines. In 1990, EMU obtained a grant to establish an NSF Industry/University Research Center (I/UCRC) in Coatings. In 1993, the institute established the Surface Science Research Center.


Tagged categories: Corrosion; Green coatings; Hexavalent chromium; Protective coatings; Research

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