Intelligent Material Solutions, Inc. designs and manufactures a variety of specialty optical coatings and films as well as chromate-free corrosion inhibitor coatings based on rare earth oxide additives. We have developed novel coating/film technologies across industries from patented infrared blocking, visibly transparent films for ID and transaction cards to intelligent coatings for the paint & coating industry including non-toxic corrosion inhibitors. We employ a variety of surface modifications enabling easy dispersion and excellent stability in a variety of binders and deposition methods. The optical properties and coatings can be tuned to specific needs or applications.
Rare Earth Corrosion Inhibitors
Protective coatings are broadly used for protection of metallic engineered equipment and structures. Primer coatings are usually applied to metals and alloys providing resistance to corrosion through release of ionic species through dissolution of embedded corrosion inhibitors. Chromate based primers were once the preferred and most widely used corrosion resistant inhibitors, providing both cathodic and anodic inhibition. Their use, however, is extremely restricted due to the high incidence of cancer and other DNA-damage related illnesses from exposure to the compounds. The permissible exposure limit (PEL) issued through OSHA for hexavalent chromium and for all Cr-(VI) compounds in industry were reduced ten-fold from 52um/m3 to 5um/m3 over an eight-hour time-weighted average (1). Subsequently, the life cycle costs associated with chromate containing primers drastically increased due to the increased environmental health and safety protocols required to meet the revised OSHA standards. This critical drawback has prompted investigation into new chromate-free primer coatings possessing similar inhibitory qualities.
Recently, various rare earth oxides have been evaluated as an excellent, non-toxic alternative to chromate-based primers. This material has been identified as an ideal candidate due to the ability of rare earth cations to decrease the overall corrosion current by more than one order of magnitude and increase the passivity and shift to more negative potential through dissolution and precipitation of rare earth hydroxide or hydroxide carbonate.
We recognize the importance of these rare earth compounds to the critical infrastructure and has thus developed proprietary methods for the production of high purity anti-corrosion pigments that can be readily scaled for large volume production. We have established a secure manufacturing site and supply chain network, dedicated to supplying these materials for government contracts. This network is capable of providing a secure life cycle for all critical and legacy related projects utilizing technologies developed by IMS from initial research and development to raw material secure supply to final scaled-up manufacturing. We also have access to Salt/Spray Testing Cabinets to evaluate the corrosion resistance of our films under acclerated exposure testing.