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Infrastructure

Infrastructure plays a vital role in our modern society, including bridges, power lines, and networks. However, these important components are vulnerable to the forces of nature. Corrosion, snow, ice, and wear gradually degrade them, requiring constant maintenance and repair.

 

It is crucial to acknowledge the interdependency between static structures and dynamic transport networks. By safeguarding these elements from natural forces, we not only ensure their safety and longevity but also uphold the vitality of the essential elements that connect our society.

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High-voltage lines

Maintaining high-voltage power lines is a complex task with significant costs. Transmitting large amounts of electricity over long distances requires careful management and intricate systems. These power lines play a crucial role in enabling long-distance electricity transmission, which directly impacts our quality of life and public health.

Maintenance

Regular check-ups and proactive upkeep are crucial to catch and address potential problems early. Maintaining high-voltage power lines is complex due to their unique nature and extensive reach, requiring specialized equipment and trained professionals.

Costs

Costs are a major factor in maintaining high-voltage lines. The equipment used for inspections and repairs must meet strict safety standards and can be expensive. Ensuring the reliability of these lines often involves adopting advanced monitoring technology, improving efficiency but also increasing expenses for providers and consumers.

Location

Location is important, especially in areas where electricity needs to travel long distances through challenging terrains. These lines often pass through rugged landscapes like mountains and rivers. Maintenance teams face logistical challenges in reaching remote areas, including navigating tough terrain, using helicopters for aerial inspections, and dealing with issues like ice removal. In northern regions, these factors significantly raise maintenance costs.
 

Common practice when removing ice on high voltage lines

Source: Statnett

Power lines protection

Ice formation and insulation

Icing on high-voltage power lines is a significant problem. When ice builds up on these cables, it increases their weight, which can lead to structural damage and breakage. Additionally, ice alters the aerodynamic properties of the power lines, affecting their overall performance. To combat this issue, superhydrophobic coatings like Hirec, which use nanotechnology, offer a proactive solution.

Hirec creates a water-repellent surface on the power lines, reducing the contact area between ice and the cables. This impedes the formation of ice and mitigates the risks associated with increased weight, structural damage, and changes in aerodynamics.

Insulation issues on high-voltage lines often arise from environmental factors such as humidity and pollutants. When moisture intrudes, it can compromise the insulating properties of the materials surrounding the power lines. This can result in grounding problems and structural damage. Coatings like Gentoo, which have hydrophobic characteristics, offer a dual advantage in addressing insulation challenges.

The adoption of nanotechnology-based surface treatments for high-voltage power lines represents a forward-thinking and sustainable strategy. These coatings effectively mitigate insulation and icing challenges, thereby enhancing the dependability of power transmission infrastructure. This is especially critical in regions with adverse weather conditions.

Bridges and critical infrastructure

Bridges and other critical infrastructure face challenges like corrosion and wear due to harsh environmental conditions. These challenges can weaken the structure and pose safety risks. Nanomaterials, used as surface treatments, are emerging as an innovative solution to combat corrosion and increase resistance to wear on exposed infrastructure.

Using nanotechnology-based surface treatments provides a sustainable and efficient solution. It reduces the need for chemicals, raw materials, frequent maintenance, and additional equipment. These treatments create a protective layer that effectively fights against corrosion, improves wear resistance, and promotes self-cleaning properties. As nanotechnology research advances, these coatings play a crucial role in realizing a more environmentally friendly society with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

Birmingham Canal

Corrosion and wear

Corrosion represents an enduring concern for the longevity of critical infrastructure, including bridges. Exposure to environmental elements like moisture, salt, and pollutants accelerates the corrosion process, resulting in material degradation and structural deterioration. SAPOE and Gentoo coatings offer a protective shield against corrosive influences. Comprising nanoparticles, among other components, these coatings establish a barrier that impedes the interaction between the infrastructure's surface and corrosive agents.

Hydrophobic coatings like Gentoo possess water-repellent properties that reduce contact between moisture and infrastructure, thereby minimizing the risk of corrosion. SAPOE, a powder coating, exhibits robust chemical resistance and boasts a durability exceeding 35 years.

Furthermore, infrastructure endures wear and tear due to factors such as heavy traffic, pollution, and severe weather conditions. PCS and Gentoo coatings provide enduring and resilient solutions that substantially mitigate these challenges. The ultra-thin nanoparticle layers within these coatings enhance infrastructure's resistance to physical contact, UV radiation, human-induced wear (e.g., frequent use, graffiti, public spaces), and general mechanical stress. Hydrophobic coatings, offering self-cleaning attributes, further contribute to wear reduction by preventing the accumulation of dirt, grime, scale, and contaminants on treated surfaces. PCS and Gentoo are versatile products applicable to a wide array of materials, offering exceptional adhesion and durability.

The implementation of nano-based surface solutions on segments of infrastructure, installations, and constructions that face heightened exposure or are of critical safety significance necessitates a thorough assessment of specific environmental conditions and materials involved. Research and development efforts are pivotal in customizing solutions capable of withstanding the unique challenges posed to these structures.

In addition to their corrosion resistance and durability, hydrophobic coatings offer the added benefit of rendering surfaces self-cleaning. Water-repellent coatings enable rainwater to efficiently wash away dirt and contaminants, maintaining a markedly cleaner surface on treated objects over an extended period.

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