New Corrosion Inhibitor with 10 Times More Efficacy

Independent study has revealed that a safer, smarter corrosion inhibitor can safeguard products for up to ten times more, filling the performance gap for an effective, chrome-free inhibitor.

Test results demonstrating areas of 1 mm (Intelli-ion) vs. 10 mm (control) creep in samples. (Image credit - Hexigone Ltd)

The product was created by Hexigone, a start-up company founded by Swansea University scientists and students.

Corrosion costs the global economy 2.5 trillion dollars annually, and the EU has recently banned its most effective inhibitor, hexavalent chromate.

Hexigone Inhibitors’ disruptive technology—Intelli-ion®—switches chromate for “chemically intelligent” pigments, delivering a totally unique method for attacking corrosion. The outcome? Coatings capable of safeguarding final products for up to ten times longer than chrome-free alternatives.

The study was performed by a global leader in industrial coatings, and after 1,000 hours of aggressive prohesion, salt spray and humidity (4000 hours) testing, the Intelli-ion® product exhibited 1 mm of corrosion versus 10 mm in the control sample.

Following really exciting results in the labs, these were the results we were anticipating from our industry partners. We moved our research away from mainstream thinking, and as a result, can use chemicals that were previously incompatible with coatings. Now, we are offering a potentially game-changing inhibitor to the coatings industry; a higher performing product that can be easily added to existing production processes, at a price that matches the market.

Patrick Dodds, CEO and Founder, Hexigone Inhibitors.

The Intelli-ion uses intelligent micro-reservoirs that render the coatings responsive to the environment, activating the discharge of the inhibitor “on demand.”

This technique of protection could offer considerably longer life spans to final products, which would, in turn, have an immense impact on the automotive, construction, and aerospace sectors.

The company has gained some attention; they have in recent times secured investment from Development Bank of Wales and angel investors, Phil Buck and Andy Lewis, as well as an innovation loan from Innovate UK; totaling more than £1 million.

The team is already collaborating with 20 industry partners across four continents and the additional financial boost; together with support from investment expert Owen Sennet and AgorIP; will enable them to hasten scale-up and provide the coatings sector a safer, smarter way to deal with corrosion.

In my forty years in the industry we have been looking for a comparable performance from an anti-corrosion pigment that we previously enjoyed when we used lead and chromate complexes. None of the new developments have given that. Now, at last, we have a corrosion inhibitor that provides the level of performance that our clients need to protect their assets from premature failure. Hexigone is now able to offer the corrosion industry what they have been looking for—a search which has spanned a generation.

Phil Buck, Former CEO, Spencer Coatings Group.

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