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Corrosion in the News: May 4, 2020 Roundup

By Corrosionpedia Staff
Published: May 4, 2020
Key Takeaways

This week's stories highlight robots that power themselves through corrosive reactions, another COVID-19 delay for an industry conference, graphene coatings on copper corrosion, and NACE merging with SSPC.

Welcome to the early May Corrosionpedia News Roundup. Corrosionpedia provides a biweekly summary of the most important headlines in the world of corrosion prevention and monitoring. This week, we highlight a story about a university team that has developed robots that power themselves through corrosive reactions. Other exciting stories include another COVID-19 delay to a corrosion industry conference, a study on the effect that graphene coatings have on copper corrosion, and an approved vote for NACE to combine with another organization.


Robots Use Corrosion for Energy

Every electronic device needs energy to run, and one of the biggest limitations of battery-powered electronics today is the length of time they can operate on a given battery charge. However, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are working to eliminate this battery life limitation. A new technology developed at the university relies on energy harvesting rather than energy storage. The team of researchers has developed a new device, known as the metal-air scavenger (MAS), which uses a chemical process similar to that of corrosion to power itself. The device harvests energy for it to run by breaking down the metals that it is in contact with through oxidation. The oxidation reaction “feeds” the MAS and allows it to run without the need for a battery or being connected to a source of electricity.

Corrosion and Prevention Conference Postponed Due to COVID-19

The Corrosion and Prevention Conference, one of the largest conferences held for corrosion prevention professionals, is being postponed due to the likelihood of continued travel and social gathering restrictions caused by COVID-19. The Corrosion and Prevention Conference is an annual event held by the Australasian Corrosion Association (ACA), typically in November of each year. However, the ACA decided in mid-April to postpone the event until 2021. The exact date of the rescheduled event has not yet been determined. Corrosion prevention professionals and companies who were scheduled to speak, purchased a booth or decided to be a sponsor will be contacted by an ACA representative to discuss future plans.


Bridge Near Cincinnati Reopened After Corrosion Concerns

A major bridge in the town of Covington, KY, less than a mile from Cincinnati, has been reopened after being shut down following the discovery of corrosion on an important structural component. During a routine inspection, the corrosion was found to have substantially deteriorated a structural steel beam that runs across the length of the bridge. However, after evaluating the situation further, officials have decided to partially reopen the bridge for traffic. An order was put in place which reopens two lanes of traffic on the bridge and imposes a stricter weight limit in order to allow travelers to drive over the bridge while still maintaining safe loads and stresses on the bridge. Meanwhile, experts are determining how to best repair the corrosion found on the bridge.

Graphene Used to Protect Copper from Corrosion

A research team in South Korea has performed in-depth studies on the relationship between copper corrosion and graphene coatings. Historically, some in the scientific community have been concerned that graphene coatings on copper can actually accelerate the amount of corrosion that a copper alloy undergoes. However, the team of scientists at Chung-Ang University in Seoul has made a notable discovery after monitoring copper coated with graphene over a 30-day period. In the experiment they found that although copper with graphene corrodes more quickly at first, eventually the graphene and copper oxide form a hybrid coating layer that fights long-term corrosion better than bare copper. This could mean that although shallow corrosion may remain a concern for graphene-coated copper, deep penetrating corrosion is prevented.

New Corrosion Prevention Guidelines Issued by Honda

The Honda Body Repair News Bulletin in March 2020 issued additional corrosion guidelines for vehicle repair. The new set of best practices highlights several areas where certified Honda repair personnel can help prevent corrosion following a Honda vehicle repair. One such area is related to coatings in areas that need weld repair. The guidelines specify that a zinc-rich weld-through primer should be used in order to prevent the corrosion of mating surfaces that could follow after a resistance spot weld repair. Rust preventative cavity wax must also be applied to the inside and backside of replacement parts, the backside of panels that cannot be reached with epoxies, and other internal cavities. The new guidelines also provide other recommendations such as the best methods for protecting panel backsides and anti-chip paint selection.

NACE Members Approve Combining with SSPC

The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) recently held a vote for its members to decide whether it should combine with The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). The voting results showed that nearly 9 out of 10 NACE members voted in favor of the merger. The results of this vote, in addition to the unanimous vote held earlier this year for the NACE International board of directors, makes it virtually certain that the two organizations will combine.


NACE is a large non-profit organization based out of Houston, TX dedicated to advancing the science of and personnel involved in corrosion prevention and mitigation. SSPC is a large non-profit organization based out of Pittsburgh, PA that is dedicated to protection and preservation of concrete, steel and other industrial and marine structures and surfaces through the use of high-performance, protective, marine coatings and industrial coatings. Organizational structural changes to accommodate the combination will begin in 2021.


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