Laura Lynn Fockaert


After obtaining a bachelor degree in Chemistry at the Plantijn University College, Antwerp, Belgium in 2012, Laura-Lynn Fockaert received her master degree in Chemical Engineering Technology at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in 2014. Her thesis is about the in-situ study of interfacial bonding mechanisms of carboxylic coatings on metal substrates. In 2015 Laura-Lynn started as a PhD candidate in the CTE group working on the effects of mobility of water and charge carriers at polymer-metal interfaces on long-term stability of a polymer-metal hybrid system. Research interest of Laura-Lynn are corrosion, corrosion protection, surface chemistry, and coatings.

Project : NWO-M2i

The effects of mobility of water and charge carriers at polymer-metal interfaces on long-term stability of a polymer-metal hybrid system

Coatings are often applied on metal surfaces to protect them against a corrosive environment. The largest single user of pre-painted metal is the building sector. Examples of applications are cladding and roof products. For this use a high resistance to metal-polymer interfacial bonding degradation is desired for durable protection against corrosion reactions. The interfacial bonding stability is not only influenced by coating permeability and the initial adhesion of the organic coating to the metallic substrate but also by the mobility of water and ions along the interface upon exposure to a corrosive environment. Despite of the crucial role of interfacial ion mobility in many electrochemical processes (i.a. cathodic delamination), a clear surface chemistry-correlated understanding this phenomenon is missing. The insufficient knowledge on the effect of oxide surface properties on interfacial ion mobility and metal-polymer adhesion is related to the difficulties of studying buried interfaces directly and non-destructively using current surface analytical techniques. Another challenge is the complexity of water-covered oxide surfaces in humid atmospheres, which significantly increases the surface conductivity, but simultaneously complicates the characterization of the surface chemistry underneath the water layer. The project aims to describe and control interfacial mobility and (de)bonding mechanisms. On the basis of a fundamental interphase parameter study, this research approach provides the opportunity to optimize and create new enhanced metallic/organic coating systems that are better resistant to degradation and can lead to an improved lifetime. In this case, there will be an emphasis on the fundamentals of water and ionic mobility and interfacial bonding properties between galvanized steel substrates and polyester polyurethane coatings.