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There is ongoing research to develop a new type of smart coatings that will help the oil and gas industry enhance safety and save expense.
FREMONT, CA : Corrosion is a danger and can strike at shocking speed for an industry that depends heavily on steel structures and is often put in harsh and challenging environments. It is incredibly costly to tackle the consequences of corrosion, performing inspections, repairing machinery, recoating pipelines, with figures indicating that corrosion costs the industry upwards of two trillion worldwide. It's a job that needs to be completed.
In particular, corrosion can lead to environmental and reputational harm from leaks and spills, fire threats, damage to facilities, and the massive expense of shutdowns and repair of the pipeline system for pipelines.
Here is research on the creation of new generations of smart coatings for oil and gas equipment
Coatings used for pipeline safety in the past included coal tar and asphalt or petroleum wax and fiber mesh. Both onshore and offshore pipelines these days feature fusion-bonded epoxy and multilayer composite coatings that feature superior temperature and water resistance and are versatile and durable enough to buffer the effects of pipeline movement or external object impact.
Although modern coatings utilized are far superior to those of the industry, they do have drawbacks. Many can be deemed hazardous to the environment, allowing the use of solvents that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emit toxic peroxides and ozone. In addition, coatings keep failing, and the method of restoring them is prohibitively costly. Such technology can certainly bear refinement.
This is the catalyst behind material science research into new-generation technologies to revolutionize coatings for steel structures in the sector. The employment of nanotechnology in the creation of self-healing coatings is one factor that has gained special attention.
In microcapsules with wall thicknesses of as little as one micrometer (μm) inside the coating, a curing agent, a liquid-like epoxy resin or drying oil, is used. They remain passive until damage resulting from causes that may include changes in pH or mechanical impact is emitted by the healing agent. The agent covers the holes created by the damage and seals the coating, prohibiting the steel from being exposed and stopping the corrosion process.