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Intelligent self-healing anti-corrosion coatings

The SmartCorr product developed by der ENVIRAL Oberflächenveredelung GmbH is based on fundamental research by the Max-Planck-Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in the field of nanotechnology which has been patented and exclusively licensed to ENVIRAL by Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH. In line with the self-healing mechanism of human skin, we developed an innovative process to functionalise corrosion protection coatings in order to also allow them to “heal” damage autonomously.

For this purpose, tiny micro- and nanocapsules containing healing agents (e.g. corrosion inhibitors, sealing agents, biocides etc.) are embedded in anti-corrosion coating formulations. When the coating will be damaged (mechanically or chemically) the nearby capsules will be activated, releasing their inhibiting substances into the damaged area and thus terminating the corrosion attack.

Grafik: Korrosionsauslöser

Grafik: Korrosionsauslöser

The major advantage of this self-healing technology is active feedback to the corrosion trigger:

the healing agent will only be released into the area where corrosion occurs and just in the quantity needed to stop corrosion. This permits an extended active protection mechanism as well as a significantly increased coating sustainability.

That „smart” behaviour of new active coatings is enabled by its innovative structure. The embedded micro- and nanocapsules contain not only active substances in its core but are also enveloped by specially designed shells which are able to regulate its permeability in response to the corrosion trigger. After corrosion is stopped the shell reduces permeability to its original state. This contingent reproducibility between open and closed state of the capsule guarantees low consumption of active agents.

Our innovative technology is flexible and offers several options for customised solutions. It allows us to vary size and shell properties of the capsules, the release mechanism as well as the kind of active agent used. Furthermore, it enables smart nanocontainers to replace chromium (VI) and VOC in anti-corrosion coatings and thus contribute to increased environment and health protection.

ENVIRAL ® Oberflächenveredelung GmbH – D-14823 Niemegk, Altdorfer Weg 6 – Telefon +49 (0)33843 642-0 – Telefax +49 (0)33843 642-24 – 0800 368 47 25