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Sustainable coating to increase magnesium alloys’ corrosion resistance

A multidisciplinary team of the CSIC has developed a sustainable and biocompatible coating for magnesium alloys that improves its resistance to corrosion, but also allows to have a progressive and controlled corrosion. The coating adheres perfectly to the substrate and has a high density, which multiplies its applications in this type of metal alloys.

Magnesium alloys have applications in multiple sectors due to their low densityCurrently, magnesium alloys are used in automotive, aeronautics and electronics, due to their low density and weight. Nevertheless, they have lower resistance to corrosion than other light alloys, such as aluminium or titanium, which is an important disadvantage.

The coating obtained by scientists of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Metalúrgicas (CENIM-CSIC) and the Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica (ICP-CSIC) overcomes this problem. For obtaining it, the piece of magnesium is immersed in a deep eutectic solvent, a low-cost ionic liquid obtained directly from nature that dissolves substances, including salts and metal oxides. The particularity of the method is that one of the components is cerium, which is an inhibitor of corrosion.

The salts of the solvent give the coating specific properties that could be applied in biomedical implants

The variety of salts in the eutectic solvent helps to obtain coatings with different compositions and specific properties, therefore the application of magnesium alloys in biomedical implants could be further investigated.

In the case of prostheses, controlling the corrosion rate of magnesium alloys inside the human body is an essential condition to achieve a progressive degradation of the prosthesis as the bone regenerates. Therefore, the prosthesis would progressively dissolve and this would  prevent a second surgical intervention.

This procedure allows obtaining dense coatings through a process that does not entail adverse environmental effects or toxicological risk. Its cost is also more economical and competitive than conventional ionic liquids.


Dra. Patricia Thomas Vielma

Vicepresidencia Adjunta de Transferencia
del Conocimiento Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Tel.: +34 – 95 568 18 25

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