Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

PC-ProTec A novel, highly effective zinc free anticorrosive additive easily dispersible in priming paints

Posted by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPCResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

PC-ProTec is a new technology uniquely positioned as a safer alternative to replace toxic anticorrosive additives, mainly zinc and its compounds, typically used in paint formulations to protect metal structures. The novel zinc-free anticorrosive pigment, which is applied in very low concentrations (0.3-1.5 wt %), is based on poly(alkyl thiophene acetate)s. This technology meets the new environmental regulations that restrict the use of zinc. Partners to further develop the technology and/or to establish commercial agreements along with technical cooperation are sought.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge

Nowadays, corrosion inhibitors based on inorganic or metal compounds, like chromates and zinc derivatives are widely employed in the industry of paints and varnishes.
Nevertheless, they are carcinogenic, poisonous and environmentally hazardous, and they are not able to meet with new future environmental regulations that will restrict the use of zinc. Poly(alkyl thiophene acetate)s are organic electroactive polymers able to substitute traditional toxic corrosion inhibitors. The PC-ProTec technology gives regulatory compliance and marketing advantages for paint companies as it uses poly(alkyl thiophene acetate)s as an environmentally friendly anticorrosive pigment.


PC-ProTec technology is based on the use of poly(alkyl thiophene acetate)s dispersed in a convenient solvent and added to epoxy and alkyd resins inside the paint fabrication process. In order to avoid non-homogenous dispersions, the electroactive polymer must be conveniently prepared and purified before adding to the liquid paint system. The poly(alkyl thiophene acetate)s are electroactive polymers ease to synthesize and to purify. The key for a good performance is achieved with PC-ProTec technology, developed exclusively for this kind of compound. With this new technology, a very low concentration is required to provide efficient protection and it can be easily dispersed in solvent-borne epoxy and alkyd primers.

The current stage of development

The new PC-ProTec technology, based on the use of poly(alkyl thiophene acetates) as anticorrosive pigments, has been tested with a number of epoxy and alkyd formulations. The anticorrosive additive and the paints modified with PC-ProTec technology were fully characterized and corrosion assays were also performed following standard methods (ASTM B117, ASTM D1654, ASTM D714, UNE-EN-ISO 4624).

Applications and Target Market

New business opportunity for polymer manufacturers to fabricate and commercialize an innovative additive for important industrial sectors, like paints and varnishes manufacturers.
It can be an excellent additive for marine medium and the industrial environment because it substantially improves the adherence, blistering and resistance to corrosion of the steel in these circumstances.

Innovative advantages

High-efficiency anticorrosive protection of steel Effectiveness in a very low concentration (less than 1.5 wt.% in the paint formulation) Easily dispersed in solvent-borne epoxy and alkyd primers.
Enables paint companies to be in compliance with American and Europe regulations - Eliminate zinc and its compounds from paint - Eliminate the use of avoiding penalizing labels (R51and R53)

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent
Technology available for licensing with technical cooperation Patent Status PCT and US patent application

Technology Owner

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office

Related keywords

  • Surface treatment (painting, galvano, polishing, CVD, PVD)
  • Materials Technology
  • Adhesives
  • Building materials
  • Colours and varnish
  • Fine Chemicals, Dyes and Inks
  • Chemicals and Materials
  • Speciality/performance chemicals
  • priming paints

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office from Spain

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

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