Advanced tantalum coatings using CVD

Optimization of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) of tantalum in long narrow channels with the aid of kinetic studies and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

The use of strong acids is indispensable in many industrial chemical processes; however acids are also well known to corrode almost any metal at high temperatures. This makes it difficult to process acids, especially at high temperatures, since they can ‘eat’ away their containers.

There exists a few ‘noble’ metals that are very resistant to acid attack and the most resistant of these metals is tantalum. It is however unrealistic to fabricate entire pieces of equipment (such as heat exchangers) out of tantalum because it is a very expensive material.

The solution reached is to fabricate the process equipment out of the relatively cheap stainless steel and then coat its surfaces with a corrosion resistant layer of tantalum, thus achieving the surface properties of tantalum. 
Chemical Vapor Deposition is chosen as the method of application because it is easier to control (compared to molten salt electrolysis) and it has the capability of uniformly coating any geometry or shape.


The PhD Project is part of the Extreme Corrosion Project fundet by The Advanced Technology Foundation


James Mugabi
Former PhD Student