Corrosion protection and electrochemistry

Corrosion protection - for safety, functionality, and value retention

Beschichtete Stahl-Prüfkörper nach Korrosionsprüfung
© Fraunhofer IFAM

Beschichtete Stahl-Prüfkörper nach Korrosionsprüfung

ZnMg pigments for innovative protective coatings for aluminum.
© Fraunhofer IFAM

ZnMg pigments for innovative protective coatings for aluminum.

Contact corrosion: CFRP – aluminum.
© Fraunhofer IFAM

Contact corrosion: CFRP – aluminum.

Corrosion is a phenomenon that occurs in all technical industries. It is estimated that industrial nations spend approximately three to four percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on combating corrosion. For Germany this represents a loss of about 100 billion euros per year.

Determining the causes of corrosion

The corrosion of metallic systems is usually of an electrochemical nature. Fraunhofer IFAM possesses start-of-the-art analytical facilities and longstanding expertise in corrosion protection and electrochemistry. This allows us to determine the often highly complex causes of corrosion and develop innovative concepts for corrosion protection. Our analytical facilities include:

  • Classical electrochemical measurement methods (measurement of galvanic currents and current density / potential curves)
  • Modern high-ohmic methods for polymer-metal systems such as coatings, bonded joints, and fiber reinforced plastics (electrochemical noise analysis (ENA), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)) 

Additionally:

  • Imaging techniques and surface analysis methods
  • Mobile measurement systems (mobile x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), mobile nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy using an NMR mouse)

Accredited corrosion testing laboratory (DIN EN ISO/IEC 107025)

Fraunhofer IFAM has an accredited testing laboratory (DIN EN ISO/IEC 107025) and offers a range of corrosion testing services (e.g. salt spray test (DIN EN ISO 9227), for further tests see the overview of methods). Non-accredited corrosion tests can also be undertaken on request.

Development of concepts for corrosion protection

All new technological developments require effective corrosion protection. The scientists at Fraunhofer IFAM collaborate with industrial partners to develop customized concepts for effective and commercially viable corrosion protection.

Recent developments include:

  • New MgZn pigments and inhibitors for chromate-free protective coatings for aluminum structures
  • Concepts for repairing coatings on offshore wind turbines
  • Corrosion sensors and continuous corrosion monitoring
  • Counteraction of contact corrosion for hybrid joints involving carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) and lightweight metals, for example aluminum
  • Corrosion protection using plasma coatings