Year

2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Department of Chemistry

Abstract

A great deal of work has been undertaken throughout the world over the past 50 years to increase the corrosion resistance of plain carbon steel (PCS) or mild steel (MS), and many successful techniques were developed. For example, chemical inhibitors, modified alloys, barrier coatings, various pretreatment processes and conversion coatings. However, there are drawbacks associated with some of these practices such as acute toxicity and pollution, factors that are now strictly regulated by modern Governments throughout the world. Even though conversion coatings such as chrornate and non-chromate types (phosphates) work well for corrosion protection of certain structural materials they will be phased out in the near future due to acute toxicity to living things, environmental pollution and the cost of by-product(s) detoxification from such practices. Thus, these conventional methods need to be substituted.

As many novel materials, and their derivatives, are now in existence and the prospect of substituting, soon to be, 'outdated' and 'outlawed' technology shows potential. One such group of novel materials under consideration is conductive polymers (CP's) and intrinsically conducting polymers (ICP's) or active coatings. These novel materials are believed to stabilise the metal potential in the 'passive region' and produce and maintain the protective oxide layer(s) on the metal. Due to their low toxicity, these polymers may offer an alternative to chrornate or zinc containing primer coatings for corrosion protection.

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