Our laboratory recently began work on the use of room temperature ionic liquids ((RTIL's) to enhance our capabilities for the electrochemical characterization of organic coatings [A.M. Simões, D. Tallman, G.P. Bierwagen, The use of ionic liquids for the electrochemical characterization of water transport in organic coatings, Electrochem. Solid-State Lett. 8 (2005) 60]. The RTIL's are electrically conductive liquids consisting of large molecules that can be used to investigate the electrochemical properties of coatings in a non-aqueous medium. The enhancement of coating characterization comes from the fact that RTIL's have sufficient conductivity to be an immersion medium for electrochemical measurements, but they do not directly penetrate and effect organic coatings as do aqueous electrolyte solutions. This allows the separate examination of the effects of water on coatings in immersion or cyclic exposure. Indeed, our initial studies showed that a hydrophilic RTIL could be used to electrochemically characterize the drying of a coating after immersion, a process which heretofore had not been followed electrochemically. Thus, electrochemical measurements of coatings based on aqueous electrolyte immersion can be enhanced by the use of RTIL's and the effects of water on the coatings under study isolated and analyzed separately, especially the diffusion of water out of coatings during drying processes. Recent papers from our group have introduced the methodology whereby RTIL's in conjunction with capacitance monitoring via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) can be used to determine the diffusion coefficient of water out of a non-pigmented, additive free coating [A.M. Simões, D. Tallman, G.P. Bierwagen, The use of ionic liquids for the electrochemical characterization of water transport in organic coatings, Electrochem. Solid-State Lett. 8 (2005) 60; K. Allahar, B. Hinderliter, A. Simoes, D. Tallman, G. Bierwagen, S. Croll, Simulation of wet-dry cycling of organic coatings using ionic liquids, J. Electrochem. Soc. 154 (2007) 177-185; B. Hinderliter, K. Allahar, O. Stafford, S. Croll, Using Ionic Liquids to Measure Coating Properties via Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, Presented the 2006 International Coatings Exposition, Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, New Orleans, LA, 2006 Oct.; B.R. Hinderliter, K.N. Allahar, G.P. Bierwagen, D.E. Tallman, S.G. Croll, Thermal cycling of epoxy coatings using room temperature ionic liquids, J. Electrochem. Soc. 155 (3) (2008) 1]. The technique has been extended to several types of coatings as well as the study of the cyclic wetting and drying of coatings [K. Allahar, B. Hinderliter, A. Simoes, D. Tallman, G. Bierwagen, S. Croll, Simulation of wet-dry cycling of organic coatings using ionic liquids, J. Electrochem. Soc. 154 (2007) 177-185]. This latter set of processes is one of the key set of events in exterior exposure that causes the failure of exterior protective coatings. Recently, RTIL's have been used to simulate the alternate wetting and drying of a Zn-rich epoxy coating system. EIS experiments were conducted on the Zn-rich epoxy under constant immersion in 0.05 M NaCl and RTIL. The experimental results were analyzed to determine the dielectric response and changes due to Zn oxidation within the Zn-rich system.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the following of support of the work reported in this paper: US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, grant number FA9599-04-1-0368. US Army Research Laboratory, grant number W911NF-04-2-0029. The Center for Surface Protection, North Dakota State University, a State of North Dakota Center of Excellence.
- Corrosion protective coatings
- Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
- Room temperature ionic liquids