Understanding Corrosion from Nano to Macro

From oil pipeline breaks to leaks in chemical plants, corrosion is one of the most damaging and costly naturally occurring events seen today. In order to better understand and prevent to corrosion process, John Scully, ECS member since and 2016 winner of the Society’s Linford Award, has teamed up with a multidisciplinary team to understand corrosion from the nano to the macroscale.

A new Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) has emerged with the mission of preventing corrosion. Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the ultimate goal of the project is to understand, predict, and control the role of minor elements on the early stages of corrosion in metal alloys.

At its core, corrosion is the degradation of materials due to electrochemical reactions with the environment. In addition to yielding safety issues, corrosion costs an expected $23 billion annually, according to the Department of Defense.

Not only can corrosion cause buildings and bridges to collapse, but corrosion o electrical outlets and medical implants can cause fires and blood poisoning.

In order to address this complex problems, Scully and others are creating a team comprised of those versed in electrochemistry, microscopy, tomography, and simulations.


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