Corrosion gnaws its way stealthily through bridges, machines, and buildings, whether of metal, concrete, glass, or plastic; in all of these materials it is a serious problem. As long as six years ago, DECHEMA, the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, estimated annual global losses due to corrosion at an astounding US$ 3.3 trillion. So corrosion is a drain on the wallet as well as on the surfaces of materials. Industrialized countries lose about three percent of their gross domestic product to corrosion each year. But according to DECHEMA, appropriate protective measures could save up to 30 percent of these costs, amounting to approximately US$ 1 trillionevery year.
Nonetheless, established methods of surface treatment, including chromating and phosphating, are increasingly coming up against limitations and are seen ever more critically, mainly for reasons of environmental protection. Application techniques for substances containing chromium (VI) are particularly problematic. The use of these substances is being banned in Europe in an increasing number of applications, through such provisions as the second RoHS Directive (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which came into force in 2013. The US, Japan, China, and South Korea have adopted similar regulations.
Alternative methods for protecting metal surfaces against corrosion are therefore urgently needed, and these methods must be eco-friendly as well as reliable. Evonik’s developers rely here on hydrolyzed and condensed silanes that form a binder: The formulation of such binders results in eco-friendly corrosion protection systems.