University of New Orleans researcher develops nontoxic corrosion inhibitor

January 19, 2000

"This is the transition from 'we don't give a damn if we pollute the world' to 'we better stop polluting the world.' " Nontoxic coating for aluminum is not carcinogenic, applies easily and will help control hazardous materials costs, and handling

New Orleans --In the current wave of environmental prudence and cost-cutting consciousness, University of New Orleans researcher Alfred Daech and researchers at University of New Orleans Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Center (GCRMTC) have developed a new, environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitor that could save the military and commercial airline industry millions of dollars in their war against corrosion--one of the costliest problems in the nation--in terms of resources, materials, energy and even human life.

The new corrosion inhibitor, a nontoxic coating (in paint form) for aluminum, has other benefits besides combating rust. It is not carcinogenic. It applies easily. And that means it's more worker friendly, safer for the environment, and will help control hazardous material costs, disposal, and handling.

Using his more than 40 years of experience working for and/or with the chemical and paint industries, Martin Marietta, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the University of New Orleans (UNO) Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Center, Daech-- along with UNO researchers--focused on creating a new pigment (for a reformulated coating) which is both effective in corrosion prevention in aluminum, and is environmentally acceptable.

"Corrosion costs the government billions of dollars on military aircraft, ships, vessels, torpedoes, and other things. With some of the current inhibitors--using heavy metals, such as chromium, lead, and cadmium--found to be toxic, UNO's inhibitor could be a great cost-saving, environmentally-conscious benefit. Currently, billions of dollars are expended to help retard or prevent corrosion," said environmental engineer Bill Strasburg of John J. McMullen Associates, Inc. and a retired civilian Navy employee, who directed the UNO inhibitor testing for NavAir. According to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, it costs the Navy approximately 500 million to drydock ships a year, including 80 million for paint removal and replacement alone.

Tests revealed that UNO's coating inhibited corrosion as much as chromium without the hazardous materials. "What we have to offer is something that tested better than anything in the world. This also complies with the environmental regulations, plus it has the capability to eliminate the problem of carcinogenic coatings. This is the transition from 'we don't give a damn if we pollute the world' to 'we better stop polluting the world.' "

The University is in the final stages of the patent process regarding the corrosion inhibitor.
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For more information, contact Joseph White at 504.280.6622, or jewhite1@uno.edu.

University of New Orleans

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