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The US Navy currently utilizes ultra-high pressure water jetting (UHPWJ) or grit-blasting for preparing steel surfaces for painting. Before a new coating/protective surface treatment can be applied, the cleaned surface usually is exposed to a humid environment for a significant amount time, which can cause corrosion. This corrosion activity is known as “flash rusting”. The corroded surface will shorten the lifetime of the new coating/surface treatment. The aim of the study is to have an aqueously soluble biopolymer based corrosion inhibitor system that can protect exposed steel surfaces during the paint removal process from the flash rusting, which is also environmentally friendly. In order to do this, it is first required to understand the adsorption behavior of biopolymers onto metal alloy surfaces. Using adsorption isotherm measurements, the adsorption behavior of biopolymers onto the metal substrates will be monitored using bulk solution concentration determinations. Based on the Langmuir theory, the maximum number of adsorption sites and the affinity constant can be calculated for each biopolymer-substrate interaction, thus the optimal solution concentration for maximum substrate coverage will be determined. The adsorption characteristics of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) and a novel amino acid (L-dopa) onto high strength steel (HY80) and 5083 aluminum alloy powders suspended in a buffer solution were measured by the Arnow assay for diphenols and the Bradford protein assay, respectively, to detect the bulk solution concentration of non-adsorbed protein as a function of time; the amount adsorbed from solution at equilibrium can then be determined. With the surface area of the metal powders known, it is then possible to calculate the amount of protein or amino acid adsorbed from solution per unit area of metal. Thus the number of adsorption sites and binding affinity for each adsorbate can be established.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Douglas C. Hansen

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering


Stander Symposium poster

Characterizing the Absorption Behavior of a Bovine Serum Albumin and a Novel Amino Acid onto Iron and Aluminum