Cathodic delamination is one of the major modes of failure for anticorrosive coatings subjected to a physical damage and immersed in seawater. The cause of cathodic delamination has been reported to be the result of a chemical attack at the coating-steel interface by free radicals and peroxides formed as intermediates in the cathodic reaction during the corrosion process. In this study, antioxidants (i.e., free radical scavengers and peroxide decomposers) have been incorporated into various generic types of coatings to investigate the effect of antioxidants on the rate of cathodic delamination of epoxy coatings on cold rolled steel. The addition of <5 wt% free radical scavengers to epoxy coatings improved the resistance toward cathodic delamination by up to 50% during seawater immersion, while peroxide decomposers had a limited effect. Testing using substrates prepared from stainless steel, copper, aluminum, galvanized steel, and brass also showed a reduction in the rate of cathodic delamination when the coating was modified with a free radical scavenger. The protective mechanism of free radical scavengers investigated for the primers are similar to that of antioxidants used for protection against photochemical degradation by UV-radiation of top coatings. Both substrate corrosion and degradation of a coating exposed to UV-radiation lead to the formation of free radicals as reactive intermediates.
- Protective coatings