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SwRI’s James Dante Receives SERDP Project of the Year Award

Nov. 27, 2018 — James Dante, a manager in the Mechanical Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute, has received a Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) award. The Weapons Systems and Platforms Project of the Year Award, presented at the plenary session of the SERDP and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Symposium, recognizes work that introduces new technology to reduce the military’s environmental footprint.

SwRI is helping the military develop an accelerated technique to better evaluate how well new paints protect metal equipment from atmospheric corrosion. Previous methods for testing new coatings did not accurately predict performance in the field because the environmental exposure factor was not realistic enough.

“While relative humidity plays a significant part in corrosion, what people didn’t realize was the extent to which that humidity affects the type of damage you see,” Dante said. “So if you want to replicate failure modes you see in the field, you need to have an explicit understanding of the relative humidity and control for it. We figured out how controlling humidity affects corrosion modes.”

Defining how to run accelerated cyclic corrosion tests and shifting the way the military looks at this testing is the next step towards quick and accurate predictions. The techniques can then be used across the spectrum, from military applications to the oil and gas industry and beyond.

“This is what the Institute does best,” Dante continued. “We see a client need, and we do some interesting science to give them something they can apply.”

Dante joined SwRI in 2003 as a senior research scientist and became manager of the Environmental Performance of Materials Section in 2009. He is a recognized expert in atmospheric corrosion mechanisms and test method development.

The SERDP is the Department of Defense’s environmental science and technology research and development arm. The ESTCP is the DOD’s environmental technology demonstration and validation program. Once a new technology or technique has been developed via SERDP, it may then be proven to be of practical use via ESTCP. Dante is currently working to finalize a test technique based on the SERDP findings that will serve as the basis of a new accelerated corrosion test standard as part of a follow-on ESTCP effort.

For more information visit Corrosion Science & Process Engineering or contact Barbara Bowen, (210) 522-5410, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.