An alternate to chromate conversion coatings for the corrosion protection of aluminum 2024-T3

Ruiguang Guo, University of Rhode Island


Corrosion of high-strength aluminum alloys used for airspace application is an expensive and serious problem. The most significant environmental factor contributing to the corrosion of these alloys is water condensed from humid air and contaminated with soluble chloride salts. The Al 2024 series used for aircraft are particularly susceptible to corrosion in aqueous chloride solutions due to alloying constituents such as copper and other impurities. ^ Chromates are efficient inhibitors of corrosion of aluminum in near neutral aqueous environments containing aggressive anions such as chlorides. Usually, aluminum alloys are initially protected by chromate conversion coatings. Additional polymer coatings are sometimes added during exposure to corrosive atmospheres such as marine environments. ^ Although chromate coatings are widely used, they require the use of noxious solutions, so they have always presented effluent disposal problems. There are health and safety concerns over the use of chromates due to their toxicity and carcinogenic nature and, as a consequence, the environmental and health risks associated with the use of such coatings will be restricted in the future. It was these health and safety concerns that led to the development of alternative non-toxic coating processes with comparable adhesion properties and corrosion protection. A variety of process technologies are under development and are vying for acceptance in industrial markets. ^ As an alternate conversion coating, a new titanate conversion coating was systematically researched and developed. Research concentrated on producing passive surfaces from a simple titanate solution using an immersion process. The corrosion resistance of the treated surface has been evaluated using simple, rapid electrochemical techniques as well as a more long-term salt spray test. Passivation by titanate conversion treatment exhibits many similarities to chromate conversion treatment. Based on this study of corrosion protection of the titanate coating formed at different conditions, a possible formation mechanism of a titanate coating is proposed. A conclusion may be drawn that titanate coating seems to be a viable alternative to chromate coatings. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Aerospace|Engineering, Chemical|Engineering, Materials Science

Recommended Citation

Ruiguang Guo, "An alternate to chromate conversion coatings for the corrosion protection of aluminum 2024-T3" (2002). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3053105.