The £56,512 project, ‘Environmentally friendly anti-biofouling and anti-corrosion coatings for steels based on multilayer plasma-deposited doped amorphous carbon’, will investigate the use of modified diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings to improve the longevity of metallic components operating in harsh chemical and physical environments. Some examples are the pipelines used in the oil and gas industry, water supply and power generation sectors; components used in marine engineering; and those used in drilling and cutting applications.
The project partner, Torishima Service Solutions Europe Ltd, is based in Scotland and is the UK-registered service arm of the Torishima Pump Manufacturing Company, based in Osaka, Japan. The company’s coatings division provides surface coatings for a range of industries, and operates a state-of-the-art oilfield coatings facility in Glasgow. Some of the products offered are repair composites, coatings and linings; specifically formulated to repair and protect customers’ equipment assets. Examples include highly temperature-resistant coatings, erosion and corrosion-resistant coatings, composite repairs, protection against corrosion under insulation (CUI), safety grip coating systems, abrasion-resistant linings and concrete repair.
The primary aim of the project will be to develop and test multilayer coatings based on DLC and doped DLC for use in the protection of steels; this research is an offshoot of gravitational wave research at UWS and will initially be based on coatings already developed here for 304 stainless steel for the Virgo interferometer as part of UWS’ membership of the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration. Coatings offering enhanced resistance to corrosion and biofouling would also have potential impact on a wider range of applications, such as healthcare, automotive, military and, due to the interesting optical properties of DLC, infrared optical systems.
The project will also provide an opportunity to assess the feasibility using such coatings in prevention of healthcare acquired infections (HAIs); initial pilot studies suggest that DLCs possess some antibacterial properties.
Dr Ross Birney, academic lead for the project and postdoctoral researcher at UWS, commented: “We are very happy to have received this award, and to be working in collaboration with Torishima Service Solutions Europe. This is a truly world-leading company with global reach, providing state-of-the-art engineering coating solutions for a range of industries, right here in Scotland.”
Gerry Clocherty, Managing Director of Torishima Service Solutions Europe Ltd, said: “I am delighted to be associated with the project that UWS are working on, in support of the fight against the universal problem of corrosion. These researchers are working on novel processes which will potentially have great impact in countering a major problem.”