Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Transport

Infrared Light and Nanomaterials Could Yield Non-Toxic Corrosion Fighters

New non-toxic nanomaterials could reduce corrosion when bonded to metals with infrared light.A new anti-corrosion coating that uses infrared light to bond new nanomaterials to steel could yield a more sustainable, less toxic substitute for the massive quantities of hazardous chemicals that are currently needed to hold our aging infrastructure together.


The technology is being developed by MesoCoat, the Edison Materials Technology Center, and Polythermics, LLC, under a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Aside from the green benefit of cutting down on hazardous chemicals, the new approach promises lower costs and higher performance, winning sustainable points for extending the lifecycle of steel infrastructure elements and perhaps consumer products as well.

The Problem with Anti-Corrosion Coatings

Anti-Corrosion coatings form the thin line between a reliable infrastructure and a collapsing one, but the chemical coatings currently in use are out of date and inadequate.  According to a 2002 study by the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. economy loses about $276 billion yearly due to metal corrosion.  Aside from the economic issues, most coatings are made with lead, cadmium, chromium and other toxic substances.  When they start to wear down – which they regularly do – they need to be stripped with volatile organic compounds before another coat is applied, adding another layer of toxic products to the process.

New Nanocomposite Coatings and Infrared Light

The new project would use infrared light to fuse nanocomposite metal-ceramic and polymer coatings onto steel.  The focus is on larger surfaces including bridges, but smaller applications are another possibility.  By using infrared light, the new process would bypass the need for electroplating, chromate primers, galvanizing, fusion-bonded epoxy, and other coatings that involve hazardous chemicals.  The end goal is a fully portable, end-to-end system that uses high intensity white light to strip old coatings with less waste and lower volatile organic emissions, before fusing on the new nanomaterials.

Coatings Beyond Infrastructure

Toxic coatings are not just an infrastructure problem.  They’re also a serious issue for indoor health and even for the U.S. military, which this year adopted a priority program for finding alternatives to hexavalent chromium coatings for vehicles and equipment.  The U.S. Air Force is also testing PreKote, a non-toxic proprietary product, to prevent corrosion in aircraft.  The expansion of offshore wind power and ocean power could also boost the demand for non-toxic anti-corrosion products.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States of America, and Kamala Harris will break through many barriers to become the...

Energy Efficiency

Tinker Air Force Base has a head start on the road to an energy efficient, carbon negative -- yes, carbon negative -- US Department...

Clean Power

After years of experimenting, DOD is plunging into the sparkling green future of ultra-resilient microgrids and renewable energy.

Clean Power

In honor of Memorial Day here in the United States (yesterday), rooftop solar power firm SunPower has been offering a $1,000 rebate for current...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.