Diffusion cell investigations into the acidic degradation of organic coatings

In a new study, researchers conducted diffusion cell studies on the acid degradation of organic coatings.

In order to simulate both the acid breakthrough time and the subsequent steady-state flux -

Protective organic coatings work by preventing contact between an aggressive environment and a vulnerable substrate. However, the long required lifetime of a barrier coating provides a challenge when attempting to evaluate coating performance. Diffusion cells can be used as a tool to estimate coating barrier properties and lifetime. In a new work, a diffusion cell array was designed, constructed, and compared to previous designs, with simplicity being the most important design parameter.

Development of a mathematical model

Sulfuric acid diffusion through five different coatings was monitored using a battery of cells, and a mathematical model was developed to simulate the experimental data and to study diffusion mechanisms. The diffusion cells allowed an objective and fast analysis of coating barrier properties. It was found that sulfuric acid deteriorated these properties as it diffused through the films.

Vinyl ester-based coating most effective

This was also expressed in the modeling results, where a three-step time dependency of the diffusion coefficient was required to simulate both acid breakthrough time and the subsequent steady-state flux. A vinyl ester-based coating proved to be the most effective barrier to sulfuric acid diffusion, followed by a polyurethane coating. Amine-cured novolac epoxies provided the least effective protection.

The study is published in: Journal of Coatings Technology and Research  November 2018, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1201–1215.

Image source: Pixabay

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