Providing alternatives for import substitution and achieving greater links with companies based on economic improvement are the main objectives of the Development and Innovation Unit, Center for Anti-Corrosion and Surfactant Studies of the University of Matanzas.
Created since 1994 as part of the Faculty of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering of the University, the group of founders focused on the development of anticorrosive materials and products that led to the construction of a pilot plant, which today allows introducing results in the Cuban industry.
FOR THE RESCUE OF CENTRALS
Since its inception the sugar industry was a priority for the founders of the project. With the presentation of a doctoral thesis linked to the corrosion of the plants, they worried about the decomposition of sugars in acetic acids, whose damage to the machinery is considerable.
However, although this project was interrupted, in recent months President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has asked to introduce these technologies for the benefit of that sector.
Harold García Betancourt, director of the Center for Anticorrosive and Surfactant Studies, points out that they have already signed agreements to guarantee marketing with Azcuba. Once the repair of our boiler is finished, we will start the production of conservation fats, among other products, he said.
He also explained that they will train staff for the use of the products as the process begins at the Jesús Rabí plant in Calimete, which will begin these conservation work.
DISTIN-504: STAR PRODUCT
«Currently our flagship product is Distin-504, phosphate dissolution, with a commercialization of more than 200 thousand liters in the last five years in national companies,» says García Betancourt.
This anticorrosive is used for the treatment of metal surfaces and is a complement in the painting process in order to achieve greater durability in the schemes. In addition, its demand grows in the retail market and in sectors such as energy, industry, construction, among others.
These results favor the substitution of imports and represent a source of income for the University by favoring the maintenance of the higher institute and at the same time of the development unit itself. With four main lines of anti-corrosive and surfactant products, the center’s results benefit other entities: Cupet, FAR and Patrimonio through a protection system that mitigates damage to machinery, vehicles, storage tanks and historic steel parts.
“Within the four lines of anticorrosives we have conservation fats, asphalt mastics, phosphate solutions and polishing and waterproofing waxes; while in the one of the surfactants we develop the modifying additives of the setting in concretes, the latter with important results in blocks, tiles and other elements that meet the established resistance parameters and allow the saving of raw materials ”, added the director.
SOCIAL IMPACT AND TEACHING
23 workers make up this center that holds the Prize of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba and the provincial Technological Innovation Matanzas 2014; as well as special distinctions of the Minister of Higher Education in the years 2008, 2010 and 2012, among other awards.
However, the greatest reward for this team is its contribution to society and the growing demand for its products. David Ulloa Rodríguez, maintenance technician, is one of the workers who takes pride in belonging to the center.
The 21-year-old works directly in production, where phosphate solutions are made. It also applies the Anticorrosive and Conservation Protection System (SIPAYC) to vehicles in operation, DUCAR service, with the aim of increasing the durability of their structural component.
To the economic and social impact of these results is added his interest for teaching. They awaken a great sense of belonging on the part of the workers, but they also involve students with impact tasks, teaching activities and research work, emphasizes Medardo Domínguez Limia, head of the Department of Management and Production.
The University of Matanzas reaps the fruits of rigorous research committed to society, knowing that in practice, despite the vicissitudes, they are able to bet on development.