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

EPA Contract Number: EPD16005
Title: Development of Zinc Coatings on Steel by CermaCladTM to Replace Galvanizing Pickling Lines
Investigators: Caris, Joshua
Small Business: MesoCoat, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: February 1, 2016 through January 31, 2018
Project Amount: $299,999
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2015) 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 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% (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.

Additionally, this technology reduces the formation of zinc fumes which evolve from maintenance of a molten zinc bath as well as eliminating the formation of dross, waste iron-zinc alloy that is formed in the sheet galvanizing process. MesoCoat proposes developing zinc coatings having excellent corrosion resistance using their R&D100 award-winning CermaClad™ 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, cost-effective, 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 CermaClad™ will cut back on the need for new steel production to replace those products hence reducing associated carbon emissions.

Main tasks involved are design and construction of a continuous foil and sheet coating rig, development of coating parameters, 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.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

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