The mechanism of interaction of light with the microstructure of anodized layer giving specific optical appearance is investigated using Al–Zr sputter deposited coating as a model system on an AA6060 substrate. Differences in the oxidative nature of various microstructural components result in the evolution of typical features in the anodized layer, which are investigated as a function of microstructure and correlated with its optical appearance. The Zr concentration in the coating was varied from 6 wt.% to 23 wt.%. Heat treatment of the coated samples was carried out at 550°C for 4 h in order to evolve Al–Zr based second phase precipitates in the microstructure. Anodizing was performed using 20 wt.% sulphuric acidat 18°C with an intention to study the effect of anodizing on the Al–Zr based precipitates in the coating.Detailed microstructural characterization of the coating and anodized layer was carried out using high resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy, grazing incidence X-ray diffraction analysis, glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy, and optical appearance using spectrophotometry. The evolution of microstructure in the anodized layer as a function of anodizing parameters and their influence on the interaction of light is investigated and the results in general are applicable to discolouration of anodized layer on recycled aluminium alloys due to intermetallics. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Magnetron sputtering
- Optical appearance