Rust puts planet £1.85trillion out of pocket – but Manchester university launch lab to tackle problem

By Dean Wilkins

A world-leading laboratory is being launched in Manchester today to help tackle the colossal £1.85trillion global annual cost of corrosion.

The University of Manchester have teamed up with Amsterdam-based paints and coatings company AkzoNobel to fund research and tackle rising costs of deterioration.

The five-year landmark partnership between the two commenced last April and a new research centre at the UK’s leading university launches today – opening the door to alumni who will be directly employed to work on projects with AkzoNobel.

Stuart Lyon, AkzoNobel Professor of Corrosion Control, said: “The research partnership with AkzoNobel will enable The University of Manchester’s Corrosion and Protection Centre to solve key scientific challenges in how best to control corrosion and hence to minimize the use of scarce resources in an environmentally sustainable way.”

Scientists will conduct studies to optimise protective products and identify what causes some paints to protect corrosion and others to fail, how to produce durable coats and how to recognise corrosion before it is visible.

The annual cost of corrosion is £1.85trillion, which accounts for more than 3% of the world’s GDP.

Progress in understanding these challenges will allow AkzoNobel to develop improved design rules for coating systems for different substrates in different challenging environments, accelerate development of new chemical systems and ensure the integrity of AkzoNobel’s assets.

With annual sales of more than £1.21billion in the field, AkzoNobel has leading positions in the supply of corrosion inhibition coatings and specialty chemicals to the transport, oilfield and construction markets, and the company utilizes its extensive practical knowledge of corrosion inhibition to ensure the integrity of its own chemical plants.

Picture courtesy of Mark Phillpot, with thanks

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