Zinc Flake Coating with Micro- and Nano-Particles
Today, screws and other small metallic components are covered with a zinc flake coating to prevent corrosion. In collaboration with Chemische Fabrik Wocklum, Hillebrand Chemicals, DOK Chemie and the University of Potsdam, the Iserlohn-based South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences is currently researching a new type of zinc flake coating that has embedded micro- and nano-particles. The project partners predict improved surface coating properties as well as increased environmental sustainability.
"A zinc flake coating can be imagined as small platelets consisting of flattened zinc powder. The lamellae (flakes) are cross linked with a binding agent and painted onto a steel surface, therefore providing effective surface protection," explains Professor Feser, Managing Director of the Laboratory for Corrosion Protection Technology at the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences and leader of the new research project. "The zinc flake coating provides outstanding corrosion protection and has been used for many years, primarily for fasteners and other components in the automotive industry but also in the wind and construction industries, as well as in electrical plants and trucks."
These tiny micro- and nano-particles should ensure improved surface hardening and more durable corrosion protection under mechanical stress. A further advantage is the self-restorative property of the coating: the addition of micro- and nano-particles releases a substance that can restore the corrosion protection of the coating in the event of damage. Alongside the development of a new zinc flake coating, the project partners have their sights set on the entire industrial process chain, including a nano-ceramic product pretreatment adapted to the new zink flake formula, a corresponding measurement methodology and a rapid corrosion test, as well as further development of the coating process using a selected sample of customer parts.
The research project was granted approximately 200,000 euros in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie).