A self-healing coating based on facile pH-responsive nanocontainers for corrosion protection of magnesium alloy

By Ouyang, Yuejun; Li, Lin-Xin; Xie, Zhi-Hui; Tang, Lili; Wang, Fuhui; Zhong, Chuan-Jian
Published in Journal of Magnesium and Alloys Journal of Magnesium and Alloys 2020


The preparation of pH-responsive nanocontainers by typical silane modification of the mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) surface is usually high-cost, complex, and time-consuming, which remains a great challenge for effective corrosion protection of magnesium alloy. Here, a new strategy to construct pH-responsive nanocontainers (MSN-MBT@LDH) is demonstrated. The nanocontainers consist of corrosion inhibitor (2-mercaptobenzothiazole, MBT) loaded MSN core and layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanosheet shell serving as gatekeepers. The successful loading of MBT and encapsulation by LDH nanosheets were confirmed by a series of characterization such as scanning transmission electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) and N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms. The pH-responsive feature of the nanocontainers was demonstrated by determination of the MBT concentration in buffer solutions with different pH values. A smart corrosion protection system on Mg alloy is obtained by incorporating the synthesized nanocontainers into a self-assembled nanophase particle (SNAP) coating. The electrochemical tests and visual observations show that the hybrid coating has the best barrier properties and robustness in corrosion protection in NaCl corrosive solutions in comparison with the control coatings. The present method simplifies the synthesis processes of nanocontainers and eliminates the potential detrimental effect of excess gatekeepers on the coating. The findings provide new insights into the preparation of scalable nanocontainers. The self-healing coatings are expected to have widespread applications for corrosion protection of Mg alloy and other metals.

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