Supervisor: Professor N McMurray and Professor G Williams
Sponsoring company: BASF
This project provides an excellent opportunity to work with BASF, a worldwide business involved in the automotive coatings market, and to develop the next generation corrosion-protective polymer coatings for steel and galvanised steel surfaces.
A common corrosion-induced failure mechanism in organic coated steel consist of coating delamination by cathodic disbondment, originating from a penetrative defect where the bare steel surface is exposed.
When a corrosive environment is encountered, metal dissolution becomes coupled with cathodic oxygen reduction beneath the polymer coating, resulting in an increase in pH. In turn, this destroys the coating-metal bond, promoted in part by alkaline hydrolysis of the polymer coating at its interface with the metal surface.
Common types of organic coating used in corrosion protective paints, including polyester, polyurethane and epoxy resin polymers are well known to undergo base-catalysed hydrolysis and so are inherently susceptible to failure by cathodic disbondment.
The Research Engineering will: • Develop an accelerated test protocol, enabling a systematic study of corrosion-driven coating failure by cathodic disbondment for steel surfaces over-coated with polymer films, which strongly resist alkaline hydrolysis; • Identify epoxy resin functionalities that bestow optimum resistance to delamination by cathodic disbondment; • Assess the compatibility of new generation delamination resistant coatings with current state-of-the-art metal surface pre-treatments and in-coating anti-corrosion pigments; • Evaluate how base-hydrolysis resistant organic coatings provide corrosion protection when alternative modes of failure such as anodic disbondment and osmotic blistering are operational.
This work aims to develop next generation protective coatings for carbon steel and the zinc surface of galvanised steel. The work will quantify corrosion protection efficiency and provide mechanistic understanding of coating failure mechanisms.
Eligibility We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level, to join the M2A community of research engineers.
Please visit our website for more information on eligibility.
The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a. for a period of four years.