Professor Mike Yongjun Tan discusses how the Institute for Frontier Materials is contributing to corrosion research and industry with their new corrosion protection technologies.
Biocorrosion and degradation
Our research in this area focuses on the development of biomaterials and generating new knowledge about the corrosion of materials in a physiological environment. Current projects focus on magnesium and titanium alloys and their use as scaffolds, coronary stents and medical implants.
Pipelines, sensors and monitoring
As a major partner in the Energy Pipelines CRC, our research focuses on determining the mechanisms of pipeline failure and methods of prevention. Projects involve developing sensors and detection methods for corrosion in areas that are difficult to access and investigating the effect of railway currents on cathodic protection methods. Together, these projects aim to improve energy pipeline industry inspection, repair and maintenance practices and to inform the relevant Australian standards.
Rare earth and ionic liquid inhibitors
Magnesium and aluminium alloys suffer severe corrosion in saline environments. Rare earth inhibitors offer significant corrosion protection and our group is carrying out ongoing research to fully understand how they work.
Ionic liquids are being investigated as corrosion inhibiting films on Mg and Al alloys. Successful surface films have been formed and the influence of chemistry, applied potential, temperature and time are being investigated.
Our group has a strong focus on the forming of durable superhydrophobic/superoleophobic coatings from water media through assembly of low surface energy substances. Such coatings can be applied to a range of materials to enhance corrosion protection. We have recently developed new coatings with improved strength and durability.
Novel sensor to detect pipeline corrosion
A new corrosion sensor developed by IFM researchers offers exciting potential as an effective way to detect and prevent dangerous corrosion in underground pipelines. This new sensor is being developed by a research team led by Professors Mike Tan and Maria Forsyth, and supported by the Energy Pipeline Cooperative Research Centre.
The sensor simulates the conditions occurring at typical corrosion defects and measures corrosion rates electrochemically. The sensor can check remotely every day and identify localised corrosion in its early stages, before potential catastrophes could occur.
Dr Mike (Yongjun) Tan has over 25 years of research, teaching and industry engagement experience in the field of applied electrochemistry and corrosion technologies. Currently Dr Tan's teaching and research are associated with the Deakin Corrosion Engineering laboratory at our Waurn Ponds Campus. Major activities include the management of a National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCEDA) project on smart material for corrosion management, and leading the Energy Pipeline Cooperative Research Centre (EPCRC) program and projects.
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