Development of Zinc Coatings on Steel by CermacladTM to Replace Pickling Lines

EPA Contract Number: EPD14013
Title: Development of Zinc Coatings on Steel by CermacladTM to Replace Pickling Lines
Investigators: Samant, Dr. Anoop
Small Business: MesoCoat, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2015
Project Amount: $99,939
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , SBIR - Nanomaterials


Every year, a significant amount of money is lost due to atmospheric attack of steel parts. A convenient and effective way for corrosion protection is coating the unalloyed steel with a thin layer of zinc (Zn) metal by galvanizing. Pickling is an essential step of this process to ensure a high-quality surface of steel for further processing. In this process, acid is used to remove scale from the surface containing oxides. When the acid concentration in the pickling solution decreases by 75–85 percent (by weight), the bath is dumped because the efficiency of pickling decreases with increasing content of dissolved metal.
This dumping has a grave environmental impact, such as high concentration of metals and acids in wastewater, and there is a genuine need to develop zinc coatings with an environmentally friendly process that can replace the galvanizing pickling lines and the alkaline or acidic degreasing step prior to pickling. MesoCoat proposes developing zinc coatings having excellent corrosion resistance using their R&D100 award-winning CermaCladTM process, which uses a high-density infrared lamp to fuse a uniform layer of metal onto metal surfaces.
The innovation marries breakthrough nanocomposite materials technology with breakthrough low-impact, cost­effective, high-rate light fusion application technology. The high power density and large area nature of the fusion system enables these claddings to be applied at high rates. Furthermore, metal cladding eliminates the use and disposal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Extending the life of steel parts through these advanced coatings by CermaCladTM will cut back on the need for new steel production to replace those products, hence reducing associated carbon emissions.
The Zn layer can prevent corrosion of metals by forming a physical barrier and by acting as a sacrificial anode when the barrier is in danger. On exposure to atmosphere, Zn reacts with oxygen to form zinc oxide, which in turn reacts with carbon dioxide to form zinc carbonate and offers excellent corrosion resistance to the base material. In this project, process parameters will be optimized to control thickness, composition and properties of the protective Zn layer.
The main tasks involved are sample preparation, coating application, metallurgical characterization, performance evaluation and reporting. Successful application of these coatings can be applicable for corrosion protection of steel parts, such as rebar, bridge decks, shipping, shipbuilding, hydroelectric, power generation, refineries, pipelines, railroads, grid transmission towers, oil/gas production and architecture.

Supplemental Keywords:

zinc carbonate, coating, galvanized steel, pickling line, volatile organic compound, VOC

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Development of Zinc Coatings on Steel by CermaCladTM to Replace Galvanizing Pickling Lines