In view of the fact that corrosion costs large sums of money and touches countless facets of human activities, every possible effort needs to be made to find ways to stop it from starting. In this regard inhibition of corrosion has become a thriving commercial activity, worldwide. Much research has been devoted to discovering newer strategies to inhibit corrosion with concomitant improvements in corrosion inhibition materials. This review will focus on the advances in materials and technologies for corrosion inhibition, with particular attention to the evolution of technologies and materials prior to the advent of coatings, the exploitation of ‘green methods’ which use anti-corrosion materials, which protect materials without fouling the environment; and the present and projected role of nanotechnology in inhibition of corrosion. This review brings together the collected wisdom of several disciplines. The latter addressed and/or are continuing to address the need for cost-effective materials to protect strategic metals used in the domestic and industrial sectors of most countries. The scope for improving the quality of materials, required for shielding these metals from the ravages of degrading agents, present in the environments of most cities, is lucidly articulated.

Graphical Abstract

Advances in corrosion inhibition materials and technologies: A review