SMARTAQUA – Development of SMART nanostructured layers for sensing corrosion in AQUAtic structures


João Tedim (CICECO)

CESAM Responsible researcher

Susana Loureiro


MarTERA – ERA NET co-fund scheme of H2020


01/03/2018 - 28/02/2021

Funding for CESAM

30000 €

Total Funding

721000 €

Participating Institutions

  • SINTEF Material and Chemistry, Norway
  • AquaBioTech Ltd., Malta


Corrosion is a result of thermodynamically-driven processes which occur due to the interaction of active metal alloys with the surrounding environment, leading to the degradation of metallic structures. This problem is particularly relevant in offshore structures (oil platforms, windmills, etc.) due to particularly aggressive conditions such as high salinity and humidity. Although there are several methods to monitor the condition of structures in service-life, most of them are complex, expensive and above all do not provide direct information regarding the real condition of the underlying substrate.
The main goal of SMARTAQUA is to develop a sensing nanolayer applied directly on steel structures, to provide cost-effective, reliable means of etecting corrosion degradation. The sensing will be achieved by incorporation of smart additives which are responsive to the local conditions verified close at the metal substrate, combining colorimetric with magnetic detection to monitor the overall integrity of the structure. The additives to be developed are based upon inorganic and organic hosting structures for controlled release of optically active species such as pH indicators and magnetic nanoparticles.
SMARTAQUA consortium is composed of three partners from EU countries with strong coastal activities, namely University of Aveiro (Portugal), SINTEF (Norway) and AquaBiotech (Malta). These partners combine complementary expertise in fields such as materials science, surface engineering, coating technology and ecotoxicology and cover different sectors, from academia to research institutes and SMEs.
The expected output of this project is a new generation of sensing nanostructured layers that can be used in different structures to monitor corrosion degradation. Ultimately, it will have an impact in different economic sectors associated to Blue Growth, from local aquaculture facilities to windmills, but also in more traditional sectors such as oil platforms and ship industry.