Inorganic coatings include surface conversion, anodising, enamelling, metallic coatings and more. All provide barrier protection, but metallic coatings play a more active role. With a less noble metal (e.g. zinc on steel), even corrosion due to surface damage in the coating can be prevented. With a more noble coating (e.g. nickel on steel) there is risk of accelerated corrosion in pores and damaged areas of the surface.
There are various methods for applying metal coatings: hot-dip galvanizing, thermal spraying, electroplating and chemical and vacuum coating, etc. The choice of coating metal and method is determined based on base metal, size and shape, application area, cost and requirements for physical properties.
We works with requirement specification, advisory services and inspection of surface coatings. We can assess the protective capacity of metal coatings at our field stations and via accelerated testing in our climate chambers. For studies of coatings we use advanced metallography and microscopy equipment including FEG-SEM, TEM, EBSD and FIB.