Corrosion Control Electronically

Applied Semiconductor is a new technology company pioneering the use of non-chip based semiconductor technology that offers Zeta, which is designed to control marine antifouling with no environmental ramifications. Zeta is based in part on NASA technology first used on lunar mission, and it slows the rate of electron transfer within protected material by a factor of 103. Zeta is designed to prevent corrosion of conductive materials, such as steel or aluminum, for life.

The Zeta System consists of two components, a ceramic-based coating, containing millions of microscopic P and N semiconductors, and an electronic control unit (ECU). The coating is applied using conventional air or airless spray equipment in a single coat to the conductive material to be protected. The ECU is then attached to the coat material to be protected.

Once the system is in place, random current fluctuations from the electrochemical activity of corrosion in the protected material are transferred to the semiconductor particles in the coating.

The random flow of electrons now takes place between P and N semiconductors of the coating, with the junction between the semiconductors acting as a restrictive dioxide.

Based on an expected life for the Zeta coating of three-to-five years without the ECU, the life of the Zeta coating with the ECU in place is expected for 3,000 to 5,000 years.

In addition to its corrosion prevention properties, the Zeta system can be modified to prevent marine fouling, or the growth of organisms such as barnacles and zebra mussels on ships, pipes and other structures exposed to fresh or salt water.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 34,  Oct 2000

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