Abstract submission is now open

We would now like to offer an opportunity to submit papers for this conference in the general field of functional films and coatings. Areas to be considered include novel routes to their manufacture, the properties that such products exhibit, whether in the area of thin films or coatings based on multicomponent formulations. Other topics could include the analysis of such material. The application areas can be anything from pharmaceutical, cosmetics, agrochemicals, veterinary, to smart materials such as inks and adhesives.

Authors of successful abstracts will be offered the opportunity to present a poster on the topic. There will also be ample opportunities to present work in the form of posters which will be presented as recorded 3 minute presentation during the poster session with you being available to answer both typed chat and oral questions.

Abstracts should consist of a one- paragraph summary (ca 150 – 200 words) and the contact details of the authors (presenting author first) and affiliations.

This should be sent to the conference secretariat This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible and at the latest by Friday 14th August.  Abstracts will be accepted on the basis of title relevance to the conference, until no more poster slots are available.  So please email at least your title now to ensure that your poster has the best chance of being accepted.


Dr Matt Unthank, Northumbria University, Newcastle - Controlling transport phenomena of molecules into coatings
M. G. Unthanka,*C. Cameronb, A. Wrightb,  A. Alamc, M. R. Probertd
a Department of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK.
b AkzoNobel, Stoneygate Lane, Felling, Gateshead, NE10 0JY.
c HH Wills Physics Laboratory, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TL
d School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Bedson Building, Newcastle University, Kings Road, NE1 7RU

The development of new high performance materials, coatings, composites and adhesives relies on insight into the origin of performance on a molecular level.  Particularly for applications which include aerospace and automotive composites, as well as coatings for the global transport and storage of solvents and chemicals across the chemical, oil and gas industries can benefit from this insight.

This research explores a new type of epoxy-amine-borate (EAB) hybrid material for control of penetrant solvent molecules into cross-linked thermoset polymer networks.  The new epoxy-amine-borate (EAB) hybrid material is prepared through the network forming reaction of trialkylborate esters, an amine curing agent and a Novolac epoxy resin.

The properties of these materials are explored through material and mechanical testing and model studies are used to probe the mode-of-action through which EAB materials deliver their improved performance properties.  It is proposed that the removal of both H-bond donor (i.e. OH groups) and Lewis basic functionality (i.e. NH2 groups) from the polymeric matrix network reduce the affinity of polar solvent molecules with the EAB hybrid material result in an overall reduction in solvent uptake behaviour.


Professor Joe Keddie - Adding functionality to coatings with non-growing metabolically-active bacteria
Yuxiu Chena, Simone Kringsb, Joshua R. Boothc, Stefan A. F. Bonc, Suzanne Hingley-Wilsonb and Joseph L. Keddiea
aDepartment of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
bDepartment of Microbial Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
cDepartment of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

The commonly-used biomimetic strategy attempts to mimic Nature when designing the structure and properties of materials. In the design of coatings with targeting wetting properties, surface textures take inspiration from the lotus leaf or the rose petal. One could also imagine adding functionality – such as responsiveness to the environment, the remediation of pollutants, catalysis of chemical reactions, or even the creation of useful by-products – by copying Nature. As an alternative to this strategy, we envisage directly using Nature (in the form of viable cells) to add these types of functionality to coatings. Specifically, we have successfully made a biocoating, which confines non-growing, metabolically-active bacteria within a synthetic colloidal polymer (i.e. latex) film. A biocoating needs to have a high permeability to allow a high rate of mass transfer for rehydration and the transport of both nutrients and metabolic products. It therefore requires an interconnected porous structure. In this talk, I will describe how we exploited rigid tubular nanoclays (halloysite) and non-toxic latex particles (with a relatively high glass transition temperature) as the colloidal “building blocks” to tailor the porosity inside biocoatings containing Escherichia coli bacteria as a model organism. Electron microscope images revealed inefficient packing of the rigid nanotubes and proved the existence of nanovoids along the halloysite/polymer interfaces. Single-cell observations using confocal laser scanning microscopy provided evidence for metabolic activity of the E. coli within the biocoatings through the expression of yellow fluorescent protein. Whereas there was no measurable permeability in a coating made from only latex particles, the permeability coefficient of the composite biocoatings increased with increasing halloysite content up to a value of 1x10-4 m h-1. The effects of this increase in permeability on the cell viability was demonstrated through a specially-developed resazurin reduction assay. Bacteria encapsulated in halloysite composite biocoatings had statistically significant higher metabolic activities in comparison to bacteria encapsulated in a non-optimized coating made from latex particles alone. Enhancing bacterial viability in biocoatings has enormous potential in applications including waste-water treatment and the production of biomass and biofuel gases.


Ander Cervellera Dominguez - The effect of particles size distribution and cross-linking agent on the leaching behaviour of anti-corrosion species for long-term active corrosion protection on AA2024-T3 alloy
A. Cervellera-Dominguezb, X. Zhoua, Peter Visserb, S.R. Gibbonc
Corrosion and Protection Centre, School of Materials, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
AkzoNobel, Specialty Coatings, 2171 AJ Sassenheim, The Netherlands
AkzoNobel, Supply Chain, Research & Development, Stoneygate Lane, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE10 0JY, UK

Leaching of corrosion inhibitors from organic coatings, and fast effective and irreversible corrosion inhibition are key properties for active protective coatings to provide optimal long-term corrosion protection. Previous studies suggest that leaching of the active species occurs via interconnected pathways in the coating and showed that the leaching behaviour is strongly influenced by the pigment volume concentration in coatings. However, the influence of parameters such as cross-linking agent and particles size distribution on the leach-rate is not fully understood yet.

The thorough understanding of the effect of the cross-linking agent and the particles size distribution will provide essential knowledge for the development of coatings with long-term corrosion protection. The work presented aims to correlate the release rate of active inhibitor from coatings matrix with the particles size distribution, cross-linking agent properties, moisture ingress, coating morphology, and corrosion protection.

For this purpose, model epoxy-based primers have been formulated with lithium carbonate as leachable corrosion inhibitor. Moisture ingress and corrosion properties were measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The release of lithium carbonate was monitored by ICP.


Eugenio Bonetti - A Cellular Automata model for the release of corrosion inhibitors from primer coatings
Eugenio Bonetti a, Flor R. Siperstein a, Peter Visser d, Simon Gibbon c
Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

b AkzoNobel, Sassenheim, The Netherlands
c AkzoNobel, Felling, UK

Primer coatings are commonly employed to provide active corrosion protection through the release of corrosion inhibitors upon exposure to moisture. Experimental studies have highlighted the key role of the microstructure of the coatings in the process of leaching, as the pigment particles form a network of clusters that provides the pathway for the transport and release of the active species. However, a clear relationship between the characteristics of the microstructure and the observed leaching behaviour has not been established. Understanding and controlling this relationship will lead to the possibility to design better coatings with improved protection performance.

For this purpose, the aim of this work is the development of a model to investigate the relationship between microstructure of coatings and release of corrosion inhibitors. The modelling approach consists of an algorithm to generate virtual coatings with specific formulation parameters and a method based on a Cellular Automata model to simulate the dissolution and transport of inhibitors. The results of simulations show the changes in the release of inhibitors which result from changes in the microstructure of the coating. This proves that modelling and simulation techniques can be valid tools to assist the research and help improving the understanding of the effect of the formulation on the protection properties of organic coatings.


Dr Stephen Edmondson - The Henry Royce Institute Sustainability Hub and Coatings
Department of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

The Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials research and innovation has been awarded £5M from the European Regional Development Fund to launch a £10M Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub (SMIH) for Greater Manchester.  Plastic waste is forecast to reach 40 billion tons per year globally and is increasingly associated with major world cities. Urgent action is needed to find sustainable solutions to making, using and disposing of plastics.

The SMIH will bring together material science expertise and business intelligence to offer a defined workflow of ‘Advice’, ‘Assess’ and ‘Innovate’, the SMIH will help businesses to understand where they can make efficiencies, realise opportunities and avoid unintended consequences in their plastics management.

This talk will specifically describe who SMIH will impact on the development of new coating materials.


Chi Him Lo - Waterborne coatings for corrosion protection
Chi Him Lo2, Bob Luigjes2, Simon R. Gibbon3, Stuart B. Lyon1, Lee A. Fielding1
1School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK.
AkzoNobel, Rijksstraatweg 31, 2171 AJ Sassenheim, The Netherlands.
AkzoNobel, Stoneygate Lane, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE10 0JY , UK

Surfactant additives are essential in waterborne direct-to-metal (DTM) formulations for attainment of coherent and defect-free films. However, residual surfactants are suspected of influencing film microstructure and can have adverse effects on the final coating properties (e.g. appearance, adhesion, viscoelasticity and/or barrier properties) [1,2]. In this work, atomic force microscopy infrared (AFM-IR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are used to elucidate the additive-induced microstructural changes of polymer films and study the coating deterioration mechanisms after exposure to corrosive environments.

The results demonstrated AFM-IR can identify and map the sulfonate groups of anionic surfactants across the styrene-acrylic copolymer film. It has been found that varying the type or/and amount of sulfur-containing surfactant in the coating can cause significant differences in corrosion protection performance.

These findings can provide deeper insight into the relationships between binder-additive structures, film morphologies and the corrosion protection performance of formulated waterborne acrylic coatings.


Apoorva Ambarkar - Microstructure of packaging coatings
Apoorva Ambarkar*‡§, Steve Edmondson‡, Keimpe van den Berg§
‡: School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, England, UK
§ :AkzoNobel Coatings B.V, Sassenheim, 2171 AJ, The Netherlands

Organic coating systems play an important role in the protection of metallic surfaces from corrosion. It is often observed that coatings without an apparent defect, fail unexpectedly during use, allowing corrosion to occur in specific regions and not uniformly across the surface. Thus, fundamental understanding of organic coating microstructure may hold the key to understanding failure mechanisms in intact coatings. Despite prior efforts to characterize relevant coating microstructures, direct correlations to performance remain limited. To obtain further insight requires advanced characterization tools that allow simultaneous mapping of multiple properties across the surface, such as crosslinking, stiffness/hardness, water uptake etc. AFM-IR, a hybrid technique between AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) and infrared spectroscopy, allows advanced characterization of organic coatings by mapping their infrared absorptions across the underlying microstructure.

 In this study, two variants of BPANI (bisphenol A non-intended) food-can coating that are polyester based were chosen; Type A (chemical resistant type coating) and Type B (flexible type coating). Polyester based coating such type A & Type B are complex systems consisting of polyester as binder and several crosslinkers such as phenolics, Benzoguanamines, isocyanate etc., By studying their microstructure, it was discovered that Type B coating appears to be phase separated while Type A coating appears homogenous. Efforts were made to understand this distinction in the two variants, as it may be contributing in poor chemical resistance of Type B coating. AFM IR was used to map the chemical absorbance in the different phases of Type B coatings. The near industrial systems give a truer picture of microstructure but also introduce several complexities due to the complex chemistry involved between the binders & crosslinkers. Data processing was used to resolve height complexities and improve data interpretation. Simplified formulation made by varying the molar ratio of functional group between binder and crosslinkers further revealed crucial information on phase separation. AFM IR allowed identifying the phases in model systems and onset of phase separation. AFM IR technique has been useful in understanding chemical heterogeneity in complex systems.

[1]        Knudsen and A, Forsgren, Corrosion Control Through Organic Coatings, 2006.
[2]        S.B. Lyon, R. Bingham, D.J. Mills, Progress in Organic Coatings, 2017, 102, 2–7.
[3]        T. Nguyen, J.B Hubbard, J.M Pommersheim, Journal of Coating Technology, 1996, 68(855), 45.
[4]        Mills D.J, Mayne J.E.O., Corrosion Control by Organic Coatings, 1981, pp 12-17.
[5]        S. Morsch, S. Lyon, S.D. Smith, S.R. Gibbon, Progress in Organic Coatings, 2015, 78, 293–299.
[6]        A. Dazzi, F. Glotin, R. Carminati, J. Appl. Phys. 2010, 107.


Dye Containing Coatings for Corrosion Sensing Applications
Craig Melton1, Dr. Simon Gill1 & Dr. Shiladitya Paul2
1 University of Leicester; 2 TWI

Coating systems are used to protect metallic structures against corrosion in aggressive environments. However, over their design life insufficient maintenance of these systems can result in concealing significant metal loss beneath the coating. The incorporation of pH sensitive dyes in to coating systems aims to highlight these areas of underlying corrosion for inspection engineers to observe.

This research presents the compatibility and functionality of two pH sensitive dyes (phenolphthalein and thymol blue) in combination with three coating formulations; liquid epoxy, powder epoxy, and powder polyester. These dyes and coatings were administered to three different substrates; glass slides, S355 steel and thermally sprayed zinc/aluminium (TSZA) (85%/15%) on S355 steel. The glass slides were then exposed to 0.1M NaOH solution to investigate dye chromophore activation. The steel and TSZA samples were exposed to synthetic seawater for 35 days to investigate dye chromophore activation as a result of iron or zinc/aluminium oxidation.

The results demonstrate that the liquid epoxy coating was not compatible with the dyes, however successful corrosion sensing behaviour, via dye chromophore activation, was demonstrated for the epoxy and polyester powder systems on all three substrates, with the thymol blue containing systems being the easiest to observe.


Raul Davalos Monteiro - Natural exposure and cyclic corrosion testing for the assessment of the performance of powder-coated steel
Raul Davalos-Monteiro a,b, Gianfranco D’Ambrosio b, Xiaorong Zhou a, Simon Gibbon c and Michele Curionia
Corrosion & Protection Centre, School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

b AkzoNobel, Powder Coatings, Como, Italy
c AkzoNobel R&D, Felling, UK

This work studied the kinetics of corrosion propagation in natural exposure tests of powder coated steel samples and the relationship between natural exposure test results and accelerated cyclic corrosion testing performed according to the ISO-20340 standard. The results from a large number of test panels painted with 26 different powder coating systems suggest that, generally, corrosion propagation in natural exposure is defined by an initial growth in the corrosion area followed by a stage where the corroded area increases very slowly.

Consequently, the relative performance ranking of the coating systems fluctuates considerably as a function of the testing time. Correlations between natural exposure results and accelerated cyclic test results were not found, and for most types of coating classes, a good performance in one test is related with a poor performance in the other.


Liquid-liquid phase separation morphologies in ultra-white beetle scales and a synthetic equivalent
Stephanie L. Burg, Adam Washington, David M. Coles, Antonino Bianco, Daragh McLoughlin, Oleksandr O. Mykhaylyk, Julie Villanova, Andrew J. C. Dennison, Christopher J. Hill, Pete Vukusic, Scott Doak, Simon J. Martin, Mark Hutchings, Steven R. Parnell, Cvetelin Vasilev, Nigel Clarke, Anthony J. Ryan, Will Furnass, Mike Croucher, Robert Dalgliesh, Sylvain Prevost, Rajeev Dattani, Andrew Parker, Richard A. L. Jones, J. Patrick A. Fairclough, Andrew J. Parnell

Cyphochilus beetle scales are amongst the brightest structural whites in nature, being highly opacifying whilst extremely thin. However, the formation mechanism for the voided intra-scale structure is unknown. Here we report 3D x-ray nanotomography data for the voided chitin networks of intact white scales of Cyphochilus and Lepidiota stigma. Chitin-filling fractions are found to be 31 ± 2% for Cyphochilus and 34 ± 1% for Lepidiota stigma, indicating previous measurements overestimated their density. Optical simulations using finite-difference time domain for the chitin morphologies and simulated Cahn-Hilliard spinodal structures show excellent agreement. Reflectance curves spanning filling fraction of 5-95% for simulated spinodal structures, pinpoint optimal whiteness for 25% chitin filling. We make a simulacrum from a polymer undergoing a strong solvent quench, resulting in highly reflective (~94%) white films. In-situ X-ray scattering confirms the nanostructure is formed through spinodal decomposition phase separation. We conclude that the ultra-white beetle scale nanostructure is made via liquid–liquid phase separation.


Sustainable coatings by rational design – Stuart Lyon, Manchester 
Stuart Lyona, Tony Ryanb, Simon R Gibbonc
aCorrosion & Protection Centre, School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
bDepartment of Chemistry, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
cAkzoNobel R&D, Felling, UK

The performance of protective organic coatings is controlled by their physicochemical properties. While many relationships between physicochemical properties and performance have been elucidated over the past decades. The prediction of performance and lifetime of protective coatings is still largely based on testing and formulation knowledge.

SusCoRD, sustainable coatings by rational design, is increasing predictability by combining machine learning, new research to learn new mechanisms of transport, state of the art characterisation equipment and multi-scale modelling approach.  SusCoRD will develop new formulation rules to increase predictability of both the lifetime of coating performance and the coating development process.