Accelerated growth of oxide film on aluminium alloys under steam: Part I: Effects of alloy chemistry and steam vapour pressure on microstructure

Rameez Ud Din, Visweswara C. Gudla, Morten S. Jellesen, Rajan Ambat

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Abstract

Aluminium alloys were treated with steam of varying vapour pressures which resulted in the growth of aluminium oxyhydroxide layers of an average thickness of ~450–825 nm. The microstructure and composition of the generated layers were characterised by GD-OES, FEG-SEM, GI-XRD and TEM. The thickness of the oxide layeras well as the compactness increased with steam vapour pressure. The increase in vapour pressure also resulted in a better coverage over the intermetallic particles. Oxide layer showed a layered structure with more compact layer at the Al interface and a nano-scale needle like structure at the top. The kinetics of formation of film understeamwas rapid; approx. 350nm thick layers were generated within 5 s of steam treatment, however increase in thickness of the oxide retarded further growth. The enrichment or depletion of different alloying elements at the surface of aluminium as a result of alkaline etching pre-treatment influenced the thickness and growth of theoxide. Moreover the steam treatment resulted in the partial oxidation of second phase intermetallic particles present in the aluminium alloy microstructure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Volume276
Pages (from-to)77-88
ISSN0257-8972
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Steam
  • Vapour pressure
  • Aluminium alloys
  • Oxide growth
  • Boehmite
  • Intermetallic particles

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