Corrosion protection is key to improving the lifespan of parts in all industries that use steel (automotive, construction, manufacturing etc.) For sustainability, we need to continually improve the efficiency and efficacy of the protection, both during the coating process and the coatings themselves. We work with Dörken Dörken GmbH & Co. KG, based in Germany, in both of these fields. In one project we aim to gain a fundamental understanding of how additives change the potentials required and the quality of a zinc coating during the electrodeposition process (see Tiétcha et al https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c04263). The techniques that enable these studies are electrochemistry, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), surface forces apparatus (SFA), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).
In the area of the coating materials themselves we are working to understand zinc flake coatings and how they compare in laboratory and real world testing scenarios. We are also using our wealth of micro and nanoscale analytical techniques to deepen our fundamental understanding. The techniques utilised in this project include ICP-MS, scanning Kelvin probe, XPS, electrochemistry and outdoor exposure testing in different environments, including right here in the centre of Vienna.GENERAL INFO:
Contact: Dr. Laura Mears