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KSC Beachside Corrosion Laboratory

The Corrosion Technology Laboratory is staffed and equipped to conduct applied research, develop new corrosion detection and control technologies, investigate, evaluate, and determine materials performance, provide consulting and testing services, and participate in educational outreach activities in the field of material degradation and behavior in different environments.Collage of Electrochemistry EquipmentThe laboratory supports NASA, other government organizations, industry, and educational institutions. Corrosion science and engineering efforts are needed to improve safety and reliability of the nation's launch infrastructure and flight hardware, reduce environmental pollution, protect government assets, develop new corrosion related technologies, attract external customers, and reduce the environmental impact of corrosion control operations. Technology focus areas include corrosion detection, prevention, characterization, and control; material selection; coating testing, qualification, and development; pollution prevention; surface studies of materials exposed to corrosive environments; and structure design to prevent corrosion failures, improve safety and reliability, reduce maintenance cost, and protect the environment.

Laboratory personnel provide independent, unbiased technical and scientific consultation on a wide range of advanced materials, corrosion control procedures, and protective coating issues.

Capabilities

The KSC Corrosion Technology Laboratory has complete capabilities for research, exposure testing, electrochemical testing and surface analysis of steel, aluminum, and other structural materials under a wide variety of corrosive conditions.

KSC personnel utilize test equipment such as acidic and standard salt spray chambers, weatherometers, AC and DC electrochemical corrosion instrumentation, adhesion testers, data loggers, and other instrumentation to conduct research on the corrosion behavior of materials in various environments. They provide design review and specification writing services for protective coating application, material selection, and cathodic protection. Based upon their capabilities, they serve as principal investigators and technical managers in R&D programs on corrosion control.
Current projects include testing of stainless steel in oxygen-deficient environment and fracture of high strength low-alloy steels. Current protective coatings projects include research in  smart coatings, self-cleaning coatings,, environmentally friendly coatings, conductive polymer coatings, silicone materials for food processing and sanitation, low VOC paints, chromate conversion coating replacements and inorganic zinc electrochemical work.

Accomplishments

The lab and its work are considered unique within NASA. New procedures have been developed for rapidly evaluating corrosion-resistant alloys, protective coatings, and other materials, enhancing the safety and reliability of the nation’s launch infrastructure and flight hardware. Much of the work accomplished within the lab has been presented at international conferences and published in technical journals, making KSC a major source of worldwide corrosion expertise. A representative number of publications can be downloaded from this website.
Many agencies such as the U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, other NASA centers, Lockheed Martin, EG&G, McDonnell-Douglas, Johnson Controls, Raytheon, Rockwell, USBI, Thiokol, and other private companies have consulted the laboratory on a wide variety of corrosion issues. Such issues include that of the deterioration of concrete structures in the marine environment for the Florida Department of Transportation.

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