Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
New anti-corrosion technology wins innovation award
Keywords Brant International, Royal Society of Chemistry, Corrosion prevention, Awards
An innovative and environmentally-friendly new way of protecting metals from corrosion has won a team of scientists from Brent International plc the Royal Society of Chemistry's Industrial Innovation Team Award 1999. The team beat off tough competition in the category of large enterprise and received an inscribed crystal punchbowl, scroll and cheque for £3,500.
The award recognises the innovative work of the international team in replacing chrome in the treatment of metals to protect them from corrosion.
The team used the unique anti-corrosion properties of a group of chemicals known as silanes, which are able to bond to and protect the bare metal underneath the paint top coat. The silane coating can be applied to both aluminium and steel and could, it is believed, replace traditional processes in any situation where metal requires protection from rust - including cars, ships, aeroplanes, steel bridges and domestic appliances.
The environmental benefits of the silane treatment are also thought to provide significant commercial advantages over current technology. Savings on waste treatment, recycling, plant maintenance and safety are complemented by the minimal effort needed to introduce the technology, easy application and the smoother paint finish offered by the coating - which may also reduce the amount of paint used.
The team comprised 17 scientists in a joint US-UK venture, with eight coming from Brent International's UK headquarters in Milton Keynes. The work began in 1995 in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati, USA, and the process developed is poised to become a global industrial standard in the future. This project is said to be an excellent example of an academic/industrial partnership developing "green" chemistry that offers significant technical, commercial and environmental benefits.
The awards panel at the Royal Society of Chemistry felt that the technology was "excellent chemistry with clear environmental and safety benefits" and that the innovative idea "provides a product that is wanted by industry". Dr Adrian Whyle, Innovation Leader at Brent International (UK) and a key member of the winning team, says: "There is a wealth of highly creative research within academic institutes throughout the world. Companies and Universities should be encouraged to work together in Win-Win partnerships to bring innovative products to market. We are delighted to have received this award and applaud this initiative by the RSC in recognising the importance of such collaborations."
Details available from: Royal Society of Chemistry, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7 440 3315; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7 437 8883; E-mail: CurnowP@rsc.org
Brent International PLC, Tel: +44 (0)1908 361879; Fax: +44 (0)1908 361830; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org