Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to revolutionize the anodizing process in manufacturing and surface finishing for metals. The anodizing market continuously grows due to the increasing demand for lightweight and durable materials in various industries. The global anodizing industry sector was estimated more than USD 1.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5%, reaching about USD 3 billion by 2030. Adapting the anodizing process, omniphobic anodic coatings can make the metallic surface not only slippery and frictionless but also non-sticky, anti-corrosive, anti-biofouling, and anti-icing/frosting. The technology can be applied to diverse metals including aluminum, steel, titanium, copper, and magnesium alloys, thus broadly impacting various applications including marine, aerospace, automotive, energy production, construction, and medical. Other potential applications include food processing equipment, home appliances, and sporting goods where non-stickiness and corrosion resistance are required. The technology is facile, economical, scalable, and eco-friendly so that it can readily be applied to current industrial manufacturing processes with little change and risk in their practices, having great commercialization potential for the broad range of metallic materials and applications.This I-Corps project is based on the development of novel anodic coatings that can make metallic surfaces omniphobic to repel various types of fouling and corrosive agents in both solid and fluid states. Anodizing has extensively been employed in manufacturing industry to improve surface properties and passivate the metallic surface from corrosion. However, the porous layer resulting from the anodizing process is still prone to corrosion so that the pores are typically filled with anti-corrosion sealants in a solid phase. However, they are neither durable nor self-repairable. The omniphobic anodic coating is to fill the pores with water-immiscible and non-corrosive lubricating fluid such as air or oil. The omniphobic anodic coating enables the stable retention of the lubricating fluid within the nanopores and the self-healing capability to restore the lubricating fluid against damages. In addition to the durability, health/environment hazards and maintenance cost are critical factors for commercialization and broad applications. The omniphobic anodic coating does not require thick coatings or additives, because it is based on the oxidation of the original metal surface, so that the surface can easily be restored or repaired.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date5/15/234/30/25


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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