Swansea University spinoff Hexigone has developed a safer and smarter corrosion inhibitor that protects products up to ten times longer.
Corrosion costs the world economy about $2.5 trillion every year, and with the EU banning its most effective inhibitor – hexavalent chromate – last month, the search is on for a safer alternative.
Hexigone’s new method involves a stored reservoir of corrosion inhibitor.
It’s ‘Intelli-ion’ disruptive tech works by channeling aggressive electrolyte anions into the coating, triggering the release of the inhibitor ‘on demand’, thus preventing corrosion.
The research was carried out by a global leader in industrial coatings, and following 1,000 hours of aggressive prohesion, salt spray and 4000 hours of humidity testing, the Intelli-ion product displayed 1 mm of corrosion as compared to 10 mm in the control sample.
“We are offering a potentially game-changing inhibitor to the coatings industry; a higher performing product that can be easily added to existing production processes, at a price that matches the market,” intones Hexigone CEO and Founder, Patrick Dodds.
Intelli-ion uses ‘chemically intelligent’ micro reservoirs that make the coatings responsive to the environment.
Sensing conditions on the spot, these reservoirs respond by triggering the release of their inhibitor, delivering ‘on demand’ protection or self-healing of the material.
According to the company, Intelli-ion allows coatings to protect metals for longer, which in turn saves money through reduced maintenance and waste.
Corrosion inhibitors are widely used in numerous sectors such as industrial construction, aerospace and the automotive industry.
Image and content: Hexigone