Nanostructured Coating for Aluminum Alloys Used in Aerospace Applications
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
A thin industrial corrosion-protection nanostructured coating for the Al alloy AA2024-T3 is demonstrated. The coating is prepared in a two-step process utilizing hard anodizing as a pre-treatment, followed by sealing and coating by atomic layer deposition (ALD). In the first step, anodizing in sulfuric acid at a low temperature converts the alloy surface into a low-porosity anodic oxide. In the second step, the pores are sealed and coated by low-temperature ALD using different metal oxides. The
... resulting nanostructured ceramic coatings are thoroughly characterized by cross-sectioning using a focused ion beam, followed by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis, and nanoindentation and are tested via linear sweep voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, salt spray, and energetic atomic oxygen flow. The best thin corrosion protection coating, made by anodizing at 20 V, 1 °C and sealing and coating with amorphous Al2O3/TiO2 nanolaminate, exhibits no signs of corrosion after a 1000 h ISO 9227 salt spray test and demonstrates a maximum surface hardness of 5.5 GPa. The same coating also suffers negligible damage in an atomic oxygen test, which is comparable to 1 year of exposure to space in low Earth orbit.