Development of corrosion resistant coatings using natural biopolymer and pollen
Abstract: Corrosion is a mechanism that highly reduces the lifetime of metals in different environments, especially in water or moisture environment. The worldwide maintenance cost due to corrosion is estimated in billions of dollars per year, and actual solutions in terms of coating usually contains toxic or environmentally harmful species. With an always increasing restriction by environmental restraints and regulations, a sustainable solution is urgently needed. Chitosan, easily obtained from chitin, the second most abundant biopolymer on earth, can be the solution to many problems. Crustacean shell waste is one of the major sources of chitin. Its resource efficiency, biocompatibility, and versatile physicochemical properties for chelation and crosslinking make chitosan a promising candidate as matrix material for biobased anticorrosive application. The purpose of the Master Thesis is to combine the properties of chitosan with the high porosity of bee pollen as anticorrosive agent carrier to obtain a fully sustainable solution for anticorrosive protection. The objective of this very ambitious project is to produce a composite material with a triple action: anticorrosive protection of metal surfaces, self-healing property of the coating and anti- biofouling activity. Results show that a biopolymer composite in forms of suspension or coatings with all desired components could be achieve. Specifically, a biopolymer nanocomposite composed of chitosan matrix, embedded with pollen grains that were loaded with anticorrosion agent 2- mercatobenzothiazole (MBT) in advance, and with zinc oxide nanoparticles have been produced. The physicochemical characterization of the biopolymer composite and its coatings, as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements on stainless steel plate with such coatings, suggest that a uniform and compact coating is obtained. Despite its good hydrophobicity with maximum contact angle 134.32 ± 3.84° with top coating, the chitosan nanocomposite coating is still permeable to water, partially because of the relatively big size of pollen (ca. 20 μm) that introduces gaps and interferes integrity of the coating. Therefore, a full immersion corrosion resistance is not achieved. In conclusion, phase transfer of hydrophobic pollen into hydrophilic chitosan matrix, MBT loading in pollen, ZnO encapsulation in chitosan, as well as crosslinking of chitosan, were successfully carried out. A coating based on such biopolymer nanocomposite is prepared on stainless steel and investigated on its anti-corrosion property. Future work will be choosing a proper sized pollen as a microcontainer to enhance the integrity of the coating, and eventually endow the coating with the three-in-one function, i.e., anticorrosion, antimicrobial, and self-healing.
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