UMR research wins ‘Oscar of invention’

While the chrome in your car’s bumper isn’t hazardous to your health, producing that chrome can be.


That’s why a group of UMR researchers, in partnership with Deft Inc. of Irvine, Calif., is helping to develop chrome-free coatings that reduce health risks for workers who apply primer to military aircraft.
The research was recognized in the September issue of R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant products of 2006. It is part of the magazine’s annual R&D 100 awards, which have been called “the Oscars of invention” by the Chicago Tribune.
Chrome-based coatings have been used for decades to prevent corrosion of aircraft, but last year the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated new rules to significantly limit the amount of chrome exposure to U.S. workers. Applying chrome-based primer can cause severe respiratory problems and in some cases may lead to lung cancer.
The chrome-free primer, developed by UMR and Deft, is compatible with existing materials and provides the necessary corrosion protection. And, best of all, it’s safe for workers.
Deft licensed the chrome-free inhibitor technology from UMR and further developed it into paint formulations, including a chrome-free primer that is currently being used to coat the Air Force’s entire fleet of F-15s. The primer has also been approved for use on Apache helicopters.
“Without the new technology, the production workers would have been in moon suits from here on out,” says James Stoffer, Curators’ Professor emeritus of chemistry at UMR.
The UMR technology was developed in cooperation with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Warner-Robbins Air Logistics Center and Boeing Phantom Works in St. Louis. UMR has filed a patent claim on the original chrome-free inhibitor technology. Stoffer and Thomas J. O’Keefe Sr., Curators’ Professor emeritus of metallurgical engineering are principal investigators. Research has also been conducted by Eric Morris, PhD Chem’00, a Deft researcher who began the project as a UMR graduate student, Paul Yu, a research assistant professor at UMR’s Materials Research Center; Scott Hayes, PhD Chem’05; Xuan Lin, who earned a PhD MetE’98; and Richard Albers, a research chemist at Deft.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

[Read More...]

Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

[Read More...]

Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

[Read More...]

MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

[Read More...]

A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

[Read More...]