Research which looks at how application of electromagnetic fields (EMF) of high intensity to steel can protect against corrosion and make savings of 50 percent is being carried out by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire.
Dr Andreas Chrysanthou and Dr Anatoli Babutskyi at the University's School of Engineering and Technology have been awarded €278,680 for a two-year FP7 Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (IIF) project to investigate the effect of EMF on the properties of structural metals.
"Our previous work has shown that using electromagnetic treatment as a post-processing routine increases corrosion resistance in steel by about 50 percent," said Dr Chrysanthou. "Now we need to understand the microstructural effects that take place when the field acts on the steel."
According to Dr Chrysanthou, although they have carried out seven previous studies that show that their approach works, the technique is underexploited because the effect of the EMF on the microstructure of the steel is not yet fully understood.
"The effects of corrosion and conventional methods undertaken to protect against corrosion are very costly and most EU countries spend between three to four percent of their GDP on it," said Dr Chrysanthou. "When we have established how exactly this technique works, it will be a useful cost-saving tool for the automotive, construction, defence and aerospace industries.