The points of interest for this patent-pending technology are:
1. The concept has been triggered by the fact that the direct cost of corrosion in the United States is estimated at 3.1% of the GDP. Recent estimate exceeds $300 billion per year. Carbon steel corrosion, in particular, represents about 35% of the cost, or about 100 billion dollars annually. About 60% of this estimate is contributed alone to premature failure of utilities distribution systems such as gas, electricity, drinking water, sewer systems, and public works such as highway bridges.
2. Therefore, it is our objective to develop a continuously operated large scale commercial nanotechnology application to enhance the passivity of carbon steel, that make this steel comparable in corrosion resistance to high-alloy steels.
3. Kinetic evaluation and process modeling are needed to determine the rate of reactions at which the process should operate. This includes, but is not limited to speed and length of the reaction run, optimum process heating and cooling temperature, chemical consumptions and relevant costs, uniformity and stability of the passivation process, etc.
4. It is our objective that the commercial plant be capable of passivating all different structural forms of steel; bars, beams, piping and sheets and be operated at the steel mill’s regular speed. However, equipment design may vary according to application.
5. The new proprietary film is in the order of 100-200 nanometers and has elastic modulus and hardness twice that of steel with strong inter-atomic bonding. High hardness, excellent dielectric and thermal properties make this film the material of choice for a wide range of applications. This technology would eliminate the need for galvanization, which would offset some cost.
6. Further, designing a commercial plant that employs deposition techniques is the first of its kind and requires extensive experience, innovation and close interaction with plant personnel. It will definitely require strong affiliation with an operating steel mill to facilitate prototype testing.
In summary, the proposed technology is still in the development phase. Developing this technology will be immensely rewarding, yet it will also have serious challenges particularly in designing an efficient large scale continuous plant.