Atmospheric corrosion is a big threat to the steel structures. This is because it compromises its structural integrity, aesthetic aspects and overall efficiency. An attempt has been made to counteract this through surface engineering of substrates including glass and steel by using modified zinc oxide nanoparticles to increase hydrophobicity. The synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles is carried out by using sol-gel method, thereafter these particles were modified by using stearic acid; a fatty acid. The zinc oxide nanoparticles were characterized by using X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) which confirms the presence of hexagonal wurtzite structure. Moreover, the Scanning Electron microscopy (SEM) reveals the hexagonal wurtzite morphology of as prepared nanoparticles. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) confirms the grafting of stearic acid on the surface of ZnO in bidentate form. The water Contact Angle obtained by using sessile drop method gives a statistical value of 140o which is of great interest due to higher water repellency and lower surface contact area. Finally, corrosion test was carried out on the coated steel substrate by means of conventional corrosion testing technique and it is observed that the coated sample decays three times slower than that of its bare steel counterpart.

Ali Dad Chandio, Muhammad Hamza Saleem, Hasan Raza Khan, Iqra Naeem Hyder and Maryam Ali