Fighting corrosion with stimuli-responsive polymer conjugates
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In the same way that drugs can be delivered and released where needed by coupling them with polymers, anti-corrosion agents can be linked with polymers and released as required.
Corrosion, of which rust is the best known example, is globally estimated to cause about $US2.5 trillion of damage each year. Conventionally, passive coatings have been used to protect corrosion-susceptible materials, but damage to these coatings opens the door to corrosion. A promising way forward is to use active coatings that both provide a barrier and release corrosion inhibitors.
A researcher from the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology in Thailand and his collaborator have reviewed recent advances in this area.
They note that a promising strategy is to link corrosion inhibitors to polymers using linkages that break when the local pH changes — an indication that corrosion is occurring. Such polymer conjugates have realized excellent anticorrosion performances and could significantly reduce corrosion compared to passive coatings.
- Chemical Communications 56, 11931–11940 (2020). doi: 10.1039/d0cc03061a