Scientists from Rice University have developed a flexible and self-healing anti-corrosion coating that protects steel.

Composed of a sulfur and selenium compound, the coating could be used to protect steel components of buildings, bridges and other infrastructure against the elements.

Source: Rice UniversitySource: Rice University

The Rice University team tested the compound on slabs of steel that were submerged in seawater alongside non-treated steel. After one month submerged in seawater, the researchers determined that once retrieved the slabs of steel coated in the sulfur and selenium compound were unchanged while untreated slabs of steel had rusted.

When tested against sulfate-reducing bacteria, such as biofilms and plankton, the coated steel also outperformed the untreated steel after one month.

Additionally, when portions of the sulfur and selenium film were cut in half, they reconnected when exposed to heat and continued to successfully protect the steel.

The study, Corrosion resistance of sulfur–selenium alloy coatings, appears in the journal Advanced Materials.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com