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Title: Trivalent chromium conversion coatings on Al and Al-Cu alloys
Author: Qi, Jiantao
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 9249
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Trivalent chromium conversion coatings formed on Al and Al-Cu alloys has been investigated using high-resolution, analytical electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, ion beam analysis, glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical noise analysis. These coatings on the electropolished Al and sputtering-deposed Al consist of a chromium- and zirconium-rich outer layer and a thinner, aluminium-rich inner layer. Zirconium and chromium are presented in chemical states consistent with ZrO2, Cr(OH)3, Cr2(SO4)3, CrF3 and CrO3 or CrO42-. However, negligible amounts of hexavalent chromium species occurred in both coatings formed in de-aerated solution. On AA2024-T351 alloys, the coating above the second phase particles was thicker than that on the matrix due to the increased localized alkalinity. Moreover, the localized corrosion and copper enrichment of the matrix occurred at the coating base. The presence of copper resulted in a thinner coating at the matrix compared with superpure aluminium. An Fe(III)-containing D30 desmutter can effectively remove the protruded particles generated by alkaline etching. Moreover, a thinner oxide film on the D30-treated surface was evidenced to promote the coating initiation on the matrix. Further, the coating comprised the concentrated zirconium oxyfluorides and decreased contents of aluminium and copper. Coated alloys displayed a significantly enhanced corrosion protection, especially the cathoidc inhibition. In terms of coating post-treatments, the water immersion (40 ºC, pH 5) soon after conversion treatment revealed a simple but effective process to improve the fluoride enrichment in coatings and to enhance corrosion protection of freshly-developed coatings. Increasing concentration of solid-solution copper in sputtering-deposited alloys, in a range of 2, 24, 40 and 64 at.%Cu, significantly promotes the coating growth kinetics and an evident and a thicker corrosion layer by substrate dissolution was observed on Al-40 at.%Cu alloys. In addition, the relationship of copper-rich deposits with Cr(VI) transformation was demonstrated by Raman spectroscopy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: LATEST 2 Programme ; China Scholarship Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Trivalent chromium ; Conversion coating ; Aluminium ; Environmental-friendly