Researchers create self-healing anticorrosive paint

Isbel Lázaro.

pintura anticorrosiva autorecuperable

Inspenet, December 18, 2023.

A project led by the University of Concepción has given rise to Colorbri, a paint developed by the company Ditnova that uses waste from the wood industry.

Colorbri: the self-healing anticorrosive paint

The research group, led by Manuel Meléndrez and David Rojas, experts in coatings and failure analysis, respectively, focused on formulating a highly effective paint against corrosion with self-healing capacity.

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Known as Colorbri, this innovative product has the peculiarity of being simultaneously a first layer and an anti-corrosion coating. “Additionally, as the material oxidizes, a primer layer is generated under the paint that protects it.“, says researcher Manuel Meléndrez, who specifies that this anticorrosive layer is composed of highly reactive zinc microparticles that allow the paint to have a “self-healing” effect. “That is to say, when this paint breaks, the structure breaks or has a flaw, these particles react by oxidizing and protecting the material from corrosive effects.”, he points out.

The researcher highlights the usefulness of the product, especially due to the more than 4,000 kilometers of coastline in Chile, which create an environment highly prone to corrosion . “It all arose from the analysis of one of the wastes from the wood industry, which is the bark of the radiata pine. We observe that, in traditional terms, it has the potential for caloric utilization and that its compounds are rich in polyphenols. We realized that we could take advantage of it to formulate anticorrosive coatings, understanding that the Bío-Bío and La Araucanía regions are very industrial hubs.”, he adds.

Meléndrez indicates that Colorbri , apart from coming from an abundant industrial waste in the region, has the advantage of being significantly more respectful of the environment.

Collaboration for product development

After the university presented this innovation to the Scientific and Technological Development Promotion Fund (Fondef), a collaboration was established with Ditnova, a regional company with which they have collaborated for several years. Ditnova will be responsible for the manufacturing and marketing of this innovative paint on the market. “It is a national brand that is dedicated to the production of cleaning items such as cleaning soaps and these did not have much added value. Therefore, they needed to make a technological leap. With this anticorrosive paint project, however, a pilot plant was generated, which allowed the company to be empowered in terms of manufacturing. It is in this virtuous relationship that we as a university help”explains Meléndrez.

It should be noted that the Office of Transfer and Licensing (OTL) of the University of Concepción played a crucial role in this collaboration, contributing to the packaging of the technology and facilitating the formalization of the agreement. “She did all the associated legal procedures, topics that we as scientists have no major competence in.“, highlights Meléndrez, who points out that it was that office that was in charge of studying the real possibilities of the product, its launch on the market and making it competitive.

For his part, the general manager of Ditnova, Víctor Rosales, details: “When we learned about this development, we wanted to make it part of our portfolio since we know the field and we saw in this technology an opportunity for us to continue innovating and deliver high technology to our clients with the support of the University of Concepción.”, ensuring that in three months they will put the painting on the market.

Andrea Catalán, who holds the position of executive director in the Office of Transfer and Licensing (OTL) of the University of Concepción, highlights that the collaboration with Ditnova constitutes an example of joint work. “We are a regional university and for us it is important to show that the efforts made by the research teams in our laboratories and students also generate a contribution to the regional industrial sectors. Therefore, we invite other companies to consider the University of Concepción as a partner that will allow them to develop new products and technology to remain competitive.”.

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