Swiss scientists from the Federal Institute of Technology are working on obtaining a patent for a new miracle material for the anti-corrosion protection of metal coatings. It is called “polyphenylene methylene” and is a polymer that is specifically designed to achieve four important properties at the same time. In addition to protecting against corrosion, it can visualize damage and repair it itself, and after the end of its service life it is suitable for recycling.
The polymer in liquid form is sprayed onto the surface of the metal, where it enters into a chemical reaction with heating. While the coating is warm, it evenly fills all the voids and evens out, creating a thin, but dense protection against corrosion. If you make a deep scratch in it, just drop a little polymer into it – the reaction with heat will start again, the damage will heal, the material will cool down and the protection will be restored.
To understand exactly where to apply the polymer during repairs, scientists added fluorescent components to its composition. When irradiated with an ultraviolet lamp, the surface glows evenly, and the damaged areas remain dark. In experiments with accelerated aging in salt solution, all the properties of the polymer were maintained for many cycles, and no traces of corrosion appeared on the metal.
Of course, even such an interesting material has a finite service life – however, the structure of the polymer is such that it can be easily removed from the surface and sent for recycling. Scientists managed to bring the reuse rate to 95%, and even after five periods of operation and processing, the polymer did not lose its basic properties