Welcome to the mid-October 2020 Corrosionpedia News Roundup. Corrosionpedia releases a fresh News Roundup every other week to provide a summary of the most important headlines in the world of corrosion prevention, monitoring and science. This edition, we provide details about Rust-A-Thon, a corrosion-prevention competition sponsored by the US Navy. Additional corrosion-related developments that are highlighted in this issue include an exciting new aerospace study meant to help predict stress-corrosion cracking, an innovative concrete that is made without cement, and new metal deformation computer models that are being created with the help of high-speed cameras.
Competition Being Held to Combat Corrosion
The United States Navy is holding a competition to find a better solution to reduce the amount of corrosion that its ships undergo. The competition, known as Rust-A-Thon, is being organized by Fathomwerx Lab, the Naval Surface Warfare Carderock Division, and Matter Labs for the US Navy. Several leading universities are participating in the competition, which is focused on protective coatings. Each participant will be sent standard representative metal samples to coat. Once coated by the participants, the metal samples are to be returned to the competition officials and then tested using specific ASTM testing methods. The US Navy is hopeful that innovative solutions to their corrosion problems will be discovered through the Rust-A-Thon competition.
Aerospace Corrosion Study Receives Grant
A study to develop advanced computer modelling of stress corrosion cracking in the aerospace industry has recently received funding from the United States Department of the Defense. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the arm of the Department of Defense that is in charge of developing new technologies, provided the grant to researchers at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Ranjay Ghosh and Dr. Seega Raghavan will work in tandem to understand exactly why and when stress corrosion cracks occur on aerospace materials like aluminum. Being able to predict where and when stress corrosion cracks occur will benefit the aerospace industry by helping to prevent crack formations before they occur, thereby reducing the risk of failure that often results from stress corrosion crack growth.
Cement-less Concrete Developed
Researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have recently created a form of concrete that contains no cement. This new type of concrete was developed with sewage and wastewater systems in mind, and the fact that it has no cement in it means two things. The first is that it can better withstand the type of corrosive environments typically found in wastewater systems as compared to traditional cement concrete. The second is that there is no limestone in the new concrete, which means that fatbergs (clumps of oil, fat, grease and paper products) are less likely to form. The research team is looking to partner with industry leaders to deploy this new material. (For more on this topic, read Q&A with Ron Bianchetti: Finding the Source of Costly Sewer Corrosion.)
High-Speed Camera used to Improve Metal Deformation Models
Teams at Aalto University and Tampere University have been working to find a better way to understand why certain metals like steel and aluminum can undergo unpredictable deformation, specifically of a certain type of deformation known as the Portevin-Le Chatelier effect. Existing models that tried to predict how the Portevin-Le Chatelier effect works were not very effective, according to the researchers. To solve this issue, the researchers used high-speed cameras to observe the deformation, and then determined which models fit most closely with what was actually happening.
New Corrosion-Proof Alloys Explored
Multiprincipal element alloys, a subset of metal alloys that have approximately equal proportions of three or more elements, are being studied by researchers at the University of California - Santa Barbara and other leading institutions.
These alloys are a new form of alloy design and oftentimes have superior mechanical properties and corrosion resistance compared to some traditional alloys. One of the problems with multiprincipal element alloy formulations is the fact there are so many combinations that can be used. This makes it difficult to understand which element combinations will ultimately lead to the most advantageous alloys. The researchers are exploring the use of artificial intelligence to help them rapidly understand which elements are the best candidates for developing a new alloy.
Corrosion Shuts Down Bridge in Virginia
A pedestrian bridge in Madison County, Virginia was closed earlier this October by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Upon a recent inspection, officials determined that there was enough corrosion to warrant concern that it may compromise the structural integrity of the bridge. Corrosion was found on frayed suspension cables. The fraying could have likely occurred as a result of the corrosion the bridge has undergone. Officials are working to develop a plan to make the bridge safe for use again.