In this work, a new concept is introduced for active corrosion protection at damaged sites aiming at overcoming existing limitations of currently proposed strategies based on dispersed inhibitor-loaded nanocontainers in coatings. The underlying principle is based on the formation of low-density and/or humidity responsive interconnected paths of inhibitor in the coating, what is called inhibiting nanonetworks. Such an approach allows for (on-demand) long-term local supply of corrosion inhibitor at the damage site. For the proof-of-concept, water responsive inhibiting nanonetworks based on polyvinyl alcohol and two known efficient corrosion inhibitors for AA2024-T3 (cerium chloride and lithium carbonate) using electrospinning are developed. The inhibiting nanonetworks are obtained by subsequently embedding the electrospun fiber mats in thermoset epoxy coatings applied on AA2024-T3. The coated panels are scratched and exposed to NaCl solutions for a month while continuously monitoring the protective properties electrochemically and optically in a hyphenated setup. The effect of the corrosion inhibitor type and the partial crosslinking of the mat on release and protection are analyzed. Protection levels at relatively big damaged sites are obtained for at least a month immersion thereby proving the benefits of high inhibitor quantities continuously released in time.
- aluminum alloys
- corrosion protection