Although steel is very strong and useful, its vulnerability to corrosion is its main weakness. Now, researchers from the Korea National Ocean and Maritime University (KMOU) have developed a new alloy that can enhance steel’s resistance to rust.
Researchers new alloy coating is fabricated from Al-Mg-Si
For boosting steel’s resistance to rust, it is usually coated with the metals like Aluminum (Al). But for marine applications, Al is not a good choice as it tends to react with chloride ions in seawater…leading to corrosion.
So KMOU scientists developed a new alloy coating made of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon (Al-Mg-Si). For this researchers used aluminized steel. It is the steel that is hot-dipped in a shower of aluminum and silicon to coat it. But Mg can’t be applied through this method. So the team plated it with Mg using physical vapor deposition. After that, the coating was exposed to a high temperature of 375 °C (707 °F).
“Our research reveals how a highly corrosion-resistant steel can be produced using a simple change in the surface treatment protocol,” says Professor Myeong-Hoon Lee, lead author of the study, “This makes it very meaningful for conserving energy and environmental resources.”