2 November 2015

New coating improves the quality of steel

World Steel Manufacturers Association Worldsteel announced the appearance of a new coating for steel. It was developed by the researchers of Harvard School SEAS. Surface treatment improves the quality of steel. It is made of nano-porous rigid tungsten oxide. Today it is the most durable anticorrosive material. It is able to protect steel from any aggressive liquid. Protection works even if there is significant mechanical damage to the surface of the part. Also, anti-fouling properties are inherent in the coating. When used for underwater parts, there is no need for painting.

The first moisture-repellent porous surfaces were developed by the Joanne Eisenberg team in 2011. And developments in this area are continuing. The new steel demonstrates strength, which is significantly higher than that of any anti-fouling materials. Previously, it was not possible to combine mechanical strength and anti-fouling in one material. The new material has both qualities without loss of productivity.

The main problem of the development was the containment of the constant multiplication of algae and microorganisms. It was necessary to avoid mechanical destruction. The solution was the electrochemical technique. With her help, it was possible to grow an ultrathin coating on the surface. The film consists of a variety of tungsten oxide sites. In the event of the destruction of one such islet, the process does not affect the other parts. Such a reaction is possible due to the lack of interconnection between neighboring sites. Even abrasive processing does not remove the surface properties, rough with tungsten oxide.

Prospects for the new material are brilliant. This is the medical industry, and the construction sector. Such steel can be used for printers with 3D printing. Over the past half century, many new steel grades have appeared. The surfaces were practically unchanged. New research can change the world for the better. Steel with a coating of tungsten oxide demonstrates the unknown potential of the material. More durable, more resistant to corrosion, it will extend the life of parts. Such elements can be used for underwater works. Or used for constant contact with corrosive liquids. Joanne Eisenberg called the new research "an example of classical materials science".

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