Nanostructured Magnesium Composite Coatings for Corrosion Protection of Low-Alloy Steels
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2014 American Chemical Society. Corrosion of base metals represents a tremendous problem that has spurred a global search for cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives to current corrosion-inhibiting technologies. In this work, we report a novel sustainable hybrid Mg/poly(ether imide) (PEI) nanocomposite coating that provides corrosion protection to low-alloy steels at relatively low coating thicknesses and with reduced weight as compared to conventional metallic coatings. The coatings are constituted using Mg nanoplatelets dispersed within a polyamic acid matrix that is subsequently imidized on the steel substrate to form PEI. The coatings function through a combination of sacrificial cathodic protection (afforded by the preferential oxidation of the Mg nanoplatelets), anodic passivation through precipitation of corrosion products, and the inhibitive action of the PEI polymeric matrix. The use of nanostructured Mg allows for reduced coating thicknesses and a smoother surface finish, whereas the PEI matrix provides excellent adhesion to the metal surface. Based on potentiodynamic testing and prolonged exposure to saline environments, the novel coating materials significantly outperform galvanized Zn and Zn-rich primer coatings of comparable thickness.