Chemical Papers

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 409–421 | Cite as

Enhancing corrosion resistance of zinc-filled protective coatings using conductive polymers

  • Miroslav KohlEmail author
  • Andréa Kalendová
  • Eva Schmidová
Original Paper


Organic coatings containing zinc are amply used for the protection of metals, particularly steel structures. Ways to reduce the zinc content in the coating materials are sought for environmental and financial reasons. Our previous work (Kohl, Prog Org Coat 77:512–517, 2014; Kohl and Kalendová, Mater Sci Forum 818: 171–174, 2015a) suggested that one of the options consists in the use of conductive polymers in the formulation of the zinc coatings. The benefits of conductive polymers include nontoxicity, high stability, electric conductivity and redox potential. Previously we focussed on the effect of conductive polymers added to the organic coatings so as to complete the zinc volume concentration to 67%. The anticorrosion efficiency of the organic coatings was found to improve with increasing polyaniline phosphate or polypyrrole concentrations. Zinc content reduction in the system, however, did not attain more than 5%. The present work focusses on systems where the organic coatings are prepared with zinc having a pigment volume concentration PVC = 50%. Zinc content reduction in the system attains up to 20%. This work examines the mechanical and anticorrosion properties of the organic coatings with reduced zinc contents. The present work was devoted to the feasibility of using of conductive polymers in the formulation of coatings with reduced zinc contents. The conductive polymers included polyaniline, polypyrrole and poly(phenylenediamine); these were synthesised and characterised using physico-chemical methods. Polyphenylenediamine as a potential corrosion inhibitor has not been paid adequate attention so far. Subsequently, organic coatings with reduced zinc contents and containing the pigments at 0.5, 1 and 3% volume concentrations were formulated. The coatings were subjected to mechanical tests and accelerated corrosion tests to assess their mechanical and corrosion resistance. The corrosion resistance of the organic coatings was also studied by linear polarisation. The results of the mechanical tests, accelerated corrosion tests and linear polarisation measurements indicate that the organic coating properties get affected by the conductive polymer type as well as by the pigment volume concentration. The important finding is that the use of conductive polymers in coatings with reduced zinc contents was beneficial in all cases.


Coating Corrosion Conductive polymers Zinc 

List of symbols


American Standard for Testing and Materials


Conductive polymers


Conductive polymers-base


Critical pigment volume concentration (%)


Czech state norm


Mean particle size


Dry film thickness




Exempli gratia


Spontaneous corrosion potential mV


Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy


Potential value reached at the end of the previous open circuit period (mV)






Id est


Current density (mV)


Ion-selective electrode


International Organization for Standardization



oil abs

Oil absorption (g 100 g−1)




Polyaniline base


Polyaniline salt


Polyaniline phosphate




Poly(p-phenylenediamine) phosphate




Polypyrrole phosphate


Pigment volume concentration (%)


Polarisation resistance (Ω)


Scanning electron microscope

Greek letters


Density (g cm−3)


Corrosion rate (mm year−1)


Conductivity (mS cm−1)





Open circuit period




21st day


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miroslav Kohl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andréa Kalendová
    • 1
  • Eva Schmidová
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Chemical Technology, Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Macromolecular MaterialsUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Jan Perner Transport Faculty, Educational and Research Centre in TransportUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic

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