doctorate of philosophy

Novel Coatings for the Prevention of Cut Edge Corrosion on Galvanized Steel

Industrial Sponsor - AkzoNobel
Closing Date - Subject to number of applications
Project start date: 1 October 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Industrial Sponsor: AkzoNobel
Supervisors: Prof James Sullivan (Primary) & Prof Geraint Williams (Secondary)
Industrial Supervisor: Dr Peter Visser
Aligned programme of study:  PhD in Materials Engineering
Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: Background  
Galvanizing is a widely used, economical and durable method to protect steel from corrosion and continues to offer a sustainable option for significantly extending the life of steel products. Galvanized steel has broad range of applications that affect our daily lives including both automotive and construction sectors. The galvanic protection principle is based on the electrochemical relationship between steel and the zinc layer.  The zinc coating acts as a sacrificial (anode) to protect the of steel (cathode) by oxidation from corrosion. For economic reasons, manufacturers reduce the weight and develop new types of sacrificial zinc (alloy) metal coatings. Introduction of these new coatings results in inconsistent corrosion performance between steel products of different manufacturers. Cut-edge corrosion protection is a major challenge for the industry, especially in C4/C5 (severe) exposure environments. This PhD aims to understand the corrosion mechanisms of cut-edge corrosion and corrosion resistance of new grades of coated galvanized steel substrates. Understanding the corrosion mechanisms will lead to new strategies for the protection of these substrates in severe environments using active protective coatings.  

Project Aims
The PhD will aim to address the following research questions: What are the parameters that drive the cut-edge corrosion on different types of galvanized steel? Investigate how the different and new types galvanizing alloys corrode at cut edges with and without protective organic coatings   How to best employ an in-situ scanning vibrating electrode-based methodology to investigate the influence of protective organic coatings on cut edge corrosion rate. What is the influence of different organic coating formulation parameters on the cut-edge corrosion of different types of galvanized steel.  Investigate how different coating formulations can influence cut-edge corrosion. This could include systematic changes in, for example; binder chemistry, adhesive properties, pigmentation and different types of corrosion inhibitive pigments on cut edge corrosion. How to improve the inhibition of cut-edge corrosion by a protective organic coating.   This project will be based at Swansea University Bay Campus, but opportunities to spend time at the industrial sponsors sites will be possible.  

About Akzo
We supply the sustainable and innovative paints and coatings that our customers, communities – and the environment – are increasingly relying on. That’s why everything we do starts with People. Planet. Paint. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from a pioneering paints company that’s committed to science-based targets and is taking genuine action to address globally relevant challenges and protect future generations.  

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £20,000 for four years. Additional research expenses will also be available.

The aligned course standard entry requirements can be found at –

Apply at Research Scholarships – Swansea University

Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) provides industry led postgraduate research training based at Swansea University's new Bay Campus. M2A is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.