Korrosionsschutz für die Industrie
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About Gerd Cordes

About founder of the company Gerd Cordes and his battle against corrosion

Cordes and his battle against corrosion
How the love for an old Fiat turned into an acknowledged corrosion protection system: From self-made corrosion protection agent for his first car to a professional corrosion protection system for industrial purposes.

Read here how everything started back in the 1980s…

1981 – 1984: Apprenticeship certified industrial mechanic at Klöckner Werke in Bremen.

     

Back then Klöckner Werke was one of the largest steel producing companies in all of Germany. The huge company with its three separate furnaces (pictured on the right) had more than 7,000 employees.

     
All from one source: the steel made in-house was immediately processed further on the Klöckner premises. Inside these halls the still hot steel was milled into body sheets for the automotive industry.

In the huge rolling mills Gerd Cordes first came into contact with lubrication greases that do not run off at high temperatures. They were used to lubricate the rollers (pictured top right).

1984 – 1986: Oldenburg Kolleg: Secondary school. School Leaving Certificate: General qualification for university entrance (Abitur).

1984: This old Fiat 850 Spider started the passion for cars. Gerd Cordes found the car in a meadow near Bremen. It was supposed to be scrapped.

     
Corrosion repair even under the mudguards: Looking at these pictures you get an idea of how much work went into this car.

Due to the heavy damage by corrosion Gerd Cordes had to buy a second auto body, also ready for the scrapyard. The welding project lasted for several years. As only few pre-formed sheets were available to buy (and because, being a pupil, he did not have any money) Gerd Cordes had to form almost all sheets himself.

Due to this drawn-out work he developed a distinct “corrosion allergy”.

     
Once the restoration had been completed in the mid-1980s he drove the still not painted Fiat from Bremen across the Alps to France, Italy and Corsica. The freshly rebuilt car made it through the 6,000 kilometres with out breaking down once!

1986: For the cavities of his little Fiat, which were still dirty and corroded on the inside, Gerd Cordes was looking for an especially effective corrosion protection agent: It had to work even when applied directly on the corrosion. He was not satisfied with the products he tried: the effectiveness on corrosion was anything but sufficient.

Thus he started his first tests using coffee cans rusted on the inside. He wanted to find out whether there was a way to permanently protect the body that was still corroded on the inside. He bought all products available on the market and conducted his first comparative tests.

     
This is how it all started: The first corrosion protection agent test using coffee cans. For realistic conditions he had sand-blasted the cans and let them corrode before the start of the test.

For Gerd Cordes the welding project and the corrosion protection test became kind of a life’s mission. Of course, he kept the Fiat that started it all in the Eighties. Below there is a picture of the entrance to the TimeMAX workshop in Hamburg. A coffee can from the Eighties is on display there as well.

Gerd Cordes gained extensive insights from the test with the coffee cans. Most corrosion protection agents failed on corroded substrates. The cans corroded from the inside out.

In the second half of the Eighties Gerd Cordes worked at the Department of Chemistry of the Oldenburg University. There he learned a lot. His boss fully understood his “corrosion allergy” and even years later helped him time and again.

Back then, Gerd Cordes remembered his apprenticeship at the steel plant and started to experiment with temperature-resistant greases. He mixed greases, waxes, and oils in various ratios. This is how his first “own” corrosion protections agents came into being.

Important from the current perspective: back in the Eighties an important idea was born: using “time-lapse tests” you can find out in a very short time how good a corrosion protection agent really is. Under extremely difficult conditions, like salt water, ultraviolet light and oxygen the corrosion process is sped up significantly.

With his company TimeMAX, founded many years later, the idea of time-lapse tests became the company philosophy and today is called “Product Development by Testing!”

1989 – 1996: Studies at University Münster: Degree in journalism, political science and German language and literature (Magister Artium).
1994 – 2004: Freelance editor for several magazines in print and on TV.

From 1997 onward: Test editor for technical magazines on German TV and for automotive trade journals. Development of concepts for tests and conducting tests. Of course, the area of expertise was corrosion. His most important clients back then: TV station NDR and the magazine “Auto Bild”.

A journey back in time to the roof of Oldenburg university in the year 1998: Gerd Cordes and his boss back then professor of chemistry Dieter Schuller discuss his latest corrosion test for Auto Bild magazine in front of running cameras.

     
Boxes built like the door sill of cars: For his first big Auto Bild test editor Gerd and his former colleagues at Oldenburg university built more than 60 sheet steel boxes. Subject of the test were cavity protection systems for used and corroded cars.

Rust scale everywhere: after a test duration of five years corrosion had done heavy damage almost everywhere.

     
Important to know: the test conducted for Auto Bild is an advancement of his old coffee can test. With the experience gained back then Gerd Cordes could successfully enhance his testing ideas.

In 1998 Gerd Cordes started another test for the TV magazine “ARD Ratgeber Technik”. This test was about the durability of corrosion protection paints. He conducted the tests at the prestigious “Institut für Korrosionsschutz” (Institute for Corrosion Protection) in Dresden.

How long will corrosion protection paints adhere to on already corroded sheets? For this test for the TV magazine “ARD Ratgeber Technik”, Gerd Cordes could fall back on his experiences gained in the coffee can test. Like back in the Eighties he used corroded sheets and regularly sprayed salt water on the surfaces.

May 2004: Foundation of his company TimeMAX GmbH & Co. KG. The company name TimeMAX is inspired by the company philosophy, the object is obvious: maximising time for steel and other metallic materials.

Erfinderpreis of the City of Hamburg

In 2009 the City of Hamburg supported the enhancement of the corrosion protection system towards shipbuilding and industry. TimeMAX was awarded the Innovationspreis (Innovation Award) by the City of Hamburg. This is a kind of inventor’s award. The reason for being awarded this prize was the development of corrosion protection products that work applied directly on corrosion. The company philosophy “Product Development by Testing” had proven its worth.

Professor Bozena Arnold from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, Gerd Cordes from TimeMAX and, on the right, Dr. Harald Eifert, head of the Innovationsstiftung of the City of Hamburg.

A Big Success: First Place in the Biggest Corrosion Protection Test in the World

The long-term test by the car magazine Oldtimer Markt was started in the summer of 2008. A total of 28 cavity protection products from all over the world were subjected to a long test. Both in the first evaluation of the test in 2009 and the second evaluation in 2010, and in the final evaluation in September 2013 as well TimeMAX made first place. Three times our system of corrosion protection greases developed in-house was best in test!

     
Corrosion stopped! Three times best in test in the largest corrosion protection test world-wide.

The time-lapse tests with coffee cans and later tests under scientific conditions contributed substantially to TimeMAX becoming this successful in the automotive industry.

Corrosion Protection for Shipbuilding and Industry

Since 2008 we have been working on transferring the experiences gained up to now to the industrial sector. The “inventor’s Award” by the city and the help from the Innovationsstiftung opened new doors for us. The requirements on industry led to new impulses in product development and testing procedures. Here, too, we have come far due to our basic concept to develop all new products to readiness for market using tough time-lapse tests.

Have a look at our test program which was widely expanded from 2008 onward:

Among others, we are testing in parallel on the isle of Heligoland, on the ships of Hapag-Lloyd and on Tenerife.
Many pictures of this can be found on our website TimeMAX.de in chapters News and Research.

Werkstatt und Ausstellungräume

TimeMax GmbH und Co. KG
Albert-Schweitzer-Ring 39
D-22045 Hamburg

Telefon: 0049- (0)40 - 460 93 91 0

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TimeMAX Korrosionsschutz GmbH
Himmelstrasse 40
D-22299 Hamburg

Telefon: 0049- (0)40 - 52 90 10 42


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