Lipid Layer-based Corrosion Monitoring on Metal Substrates

Report No. ARL-TR-6423
Authors: Scott Kinlein, Anindya Ghoshal, James Ayers, and Daniel Cole
Date/Pages: April 2013; 14 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to explore lipid layers as a potential biosensor for corrosion. It is hypothesized that applying a lipid layer to metals will allow for corrosion monitoring by measuring lipid degradation as a response to oxidation of the metal substrate. The novel method of corrosion monitoring on metal substrates using phospholipids as a surface coating is enunciated in this report. The phospholipid and metallic surface preparation and the results of progressive exposure to a corrosive environment are also presented. Prospective methods to characterize lipid layer degradation include Mass Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, Surface Profilometry, and Scanning Electron Microscopy. These methods have aspects that would be ideal for determining the surface topography and detecting flaws in the lipid layer on a sub-micron scale. It is envisaged that a quantitative correlation between lipid layer degradation and aluminum corrosion will be obtained with further research that reveals this process as a new method for corrosion monitoring. With further research this method could prove to be a cost effective, nondestructive platform for a broad range of materials analysis techniques.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2013