The five-year partnership between the world's largest manufacturer of corrosion protection coatings and the world's largest academic unit dedicated to the study of corrosion is due to commence in April 2012. This will allow for work to be undertaken to help tackle the annual $2.2 trillion (£1.39 trillion) global annual cost of corrosion, accounting for over three percent of the world’s GDP.
Key features of the agreement will include:
• The appointment of Professor Stuart Lyon as the AkzoNobel Professor of Corrosion Control, based in the School of Materials, to oversee an agreed research program to be supported by research staff within UoM;
• Directly employing several post-doctoral researchers and PhD students to work on projects with active AkzoNobel technical involvement; and
• Allowing AkzoNobel access to the sophisticated and state-of-the-art specialist measurement equipment and techniques developed by the CPC, as well as consultancy and training.
With annual sales of more than €1.5 billion in the field, AkzoNobel has leading positions in the supply of corrosion inhibition coatings and specialty chemicals to the transport, oilfield and construction markets.
The partnership will allow the CPC to extend its knowledge about the mechanisms of corrosion formation, as well as enhance its ability to explore the underpinning science and to develop technology platforms for its prevention.
It is anticipated that the partnership will gear AkzoNobel's capabilities and resources by attracting additional funding from external sources as well as strengthening relationships with key customers, many of whom already collaborate with the CPC.
The research will address a number of key challenges including:
• What causes some paints to prevent corrosion and others to fail?
• What are the coating-substrate interactions which prevent corrosion?
• How to predict the lifetime of coatings; and
• How can corrosion be detected before it is visible?