Tesla, U. of Akron to Develop Anti-Corrosion Coating Products

"The objective here is to share resources and maximize commercialization and research potential."

March 19, 2013
Manufacturing Group

Tesla NanoCoatings, a leading producer of high-tech, anti-corrosive coatings for the oil and gas industry and military uses, is researching and developing a partnership with the University of Akron, according to Tesla President and Founder Todd Hawkins.

“The corrosion problem is a massive issue in U.S. Industry today. We started out serving the U.S. Military market with highly effective corrosion-control coatings to protect their steel structures, using carbon nanotubes. We are now expanding into the oil and gas industry, and into protective industrial maintenance coatings. But there is so much to do," Hawkins says.

"Our partnership with the University of Akron, the top research university in this field, will result in so many more applications and so many more solutions to corrosion problems," he says.

The plan, according to Hawkins, is to integrate the research work on corrosion by two world-renowned Tesla NanoCoatings’ scientists with the research conducted by the polymer engineering faculty and graduate students at the University of Akron. In response to requests from industry and the Department of Defense (DoD), the university launched the National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Material Performance (NCERCAMP) in 2010 as a critical resource to minimize the impact of corrosion and reduce the lifecycle costs of equipment and infrastructure.

Dr. Jorma Virtanen, Tesla's Chief Nanoscientist and Charles Simpson, Tesla's Technical Director, will be "imbedded" into the Polymer Engineering department and will collaborate with the University of Akron faculty on all corrosion research projects.

"The objective here is to share resources and maximize commercialization and research potential, not only to benefit our two organizations, but to benefit the industrial community as well. For example, we envision this partnership enabling our two organizations to address critical corrosion problems in marine, corrosion under insulation and many more,” says Hawkins.

Dr. Mark Soucek, Professor of Polymer Engineering and Chemistry, comments, ”We are very excited to be working with Tesla NanoCoatings because the partnership leverages the broad experience of Tesla NanoCoatings scientists and the faculty and students of the University of Akron.”

Jorma Virtanen has been a major figure in nanotechnology for more than 40 years, in both academia and industry. His technology was selected as "Best Nanoproduct in the World 2006" in the Tokyo NanoExhibition. His academic research has focused mainly on carbon nanotechnology and biophysics. Dr. Virtanen is responsible for a number of patents on a variety of fields of use. He holds a BS in Chemistry, a MS in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PH.D in Chemistry, all from the University of Helsinki.

Simpson was technical manager, product development specialist and chemist for Sherwin-Williams Co. in Cleveland, Ohio, for nearly 30 years, specializing in the anti-corrosion field. He is active in the Cleveland Coatings Society, American Chemical Society and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. He has spoken widely and published numerous articles on the subject of corrosion. He holds a BS and MS in Chemistry from Cleveland State University.