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The University of Southampton

Research project: Improved Testing Methodologies for Evaluating the Performance of Paint Systems and Materials

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It's more than just watching paint dry! To understand the degradation processes responsible for premature coating failures, we aim to model the coating system which will be designed to better replicate in-service conditions.  Parameters such as elastic modulus, hardness, porosity, impedance, surface energy (contact angle), inclusion size and density, fracture toughness, will be used in modelling the coating systems.  Evaluation of the results will be used to inform and calibrate the selected modelling approach

Current testing methodologies for appraising the performance of coating systems rely on the use of standard tests which are often far removed from the environments that will be experienced in operational conditions.  Consequently, although coatings pass these standard tests they can prematurely fail in-service, leading to corrosion and wear of components and their subsequent failure.  This has been observed, for example, on chromate-free systems, where performance under accelerated test conditions such as salt spray have shown equivalent resistance to corrosion as that exhibited by the well proven chromate systems.  When deployed, however, the performance of these non-chromated systems has proved disappointing when compared to chromate-containing paints.  This is because the environment often encountered by the coatings bears little resemblance to the original screening technique used to select the preferred options. 


Industrial Partner:  Dstl

Related research groups

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)
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