The project was a follow-up investigation from a previous SHRP-IDEA project in which a corrosion-resistant Si-Ti coating on steel rebars was produced using the fluidized bed technology. The current project was intended to scale up the process to coat rebars up to 3 ft long as well as to evaluate the coated rebars for corrosion resistance, structural integrity, flexibility, and mechanical properties.
A bench-scale reactor system was designed for coating 3-ft-long steel rebars. The scale-up reactor system appears feasible but may not be adaptable for commercial scale use. The researchers, however, discovered that a strong and coherent coating could be produced simply by spray painting the Si-Ti mixture (along with a flux) followed by a low-heat treatment at about 600°C (Figure 1). This process appears more practical for scaling up for commercial use than the more complex fluidized bed technology.
Because the paint-and-heat or sprayed coatings are not sacrificial, they will provide much superior corrosion protection for a long time. Corrosion tests showed that these coatings reduced the corrosion rate of steel rebars in chloride environments by over one order of magnitude. The preliminary projected cost for the coating appears similar to that of polymer coatings.
The investigators are working closely with an industrial rebar coater, Western Coating of Oregon. Based on user input, conditions similar to those expected to be found in industrial production are being simulated. A broad user demonstration of the method is also planned by the investigator. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB96-148002).
The final report for this IDEA project can be found at: