Technical focus area: protection
Coatings in the oil and gas industries are crucial to combating corrosion, erosion, fouling, and protection under particularly aggressive environmental conditions, which include extreme temperatures, pressures and complex chemical mixtures. If a coating is damaged, its protective capabilities are sacrificed and the substructure will be quickly compromised.
One aspect of this challenge is the interface between surfaces and materials, where fouling, corrosion, erosion and related challenges arise. These are complex problems that require insight from surface science, materials synthesis, novel characterisation experiments, state of the art modelling and theory, allied with an understanding of length scale (from atomic to macro) as well as how assets and equipment are operated.
We will be examining the design of self-protecting materials that autonomously protect themselves. The development of these smart coatings could potentially extend the system life of materials operating under harsh environments.