Corrosion, i.e. the electro-chemical reaction of base metals with oxygen or other environmental components, causes damage to the material. To prevent corrosion processes, the aircraft and automotive industries used chromates, for example, for many years. However, these are extremely toxic, environmentally hazardous and carcinogenic. For this reason, the use of chromates in automotive and aircraft construction was banned by European law. Since then, industry and research have been searching for chromate-free substitutes.
This is precisely where VIPCOAT (Virtual Open Innovation Platform for Active Protective Coatings Guided by Modelling and Optimization) comes in: With the help of modeling and an innovation platform, the development of environmentally friendly alternatives is being driven forward. »Our aim is to create an open innovation platform that can be used by the research, industrial, political and public sectors alike«, explains Dr. Natalia Konchakova, project coordinator and scientist at the Hereon’s Institute of Surface Science.