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Anti-corrosion technology wins innovation award
Keywords Awards, Anti-corrosion, Royal Society of Chemistry
An innovative and environmentally-friendly new way of protecting metals from corrosion has won a team of scientists from Brent Internalional 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 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 reportedly can be applied to both aluminium and steel and could 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 said 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 thought to be an excellent example of an academic/industrial partnership developing "green" chemistry that claims to offer significant technical, commercial and environmental benefits.