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The University of Southampton

Research project: Advanced nanostructured coatings for aluminium alloys

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Aluminium alloys are materials of choice for many applications such as aircraft, aerospace and automotive industries, due to their high strength to weight ratio. However, a suitable surface protection system is needed in order to improve its low hardness and low wear resistance. A successful coating with good adhesion between aluminium alloys and coating materials can only be achieved by applying an appropriate surface pre-treatment process.

Aluminium has a high affinity for oxygen to form rapidly an oxide layer when exposed to air or water which weakens the adhesion of coating and Al substrate. The zincating process is considered as the most practical and economical surface pre-treatment process for aluminium alloys. However, the zincating process encountered with some problems, such as dissolution of aluminum substrates in a concentrated alkaline solution and non-uniform zinc deposition due to non-uniform dissolution of the substrate during the process. The project will work on the double process of Cu and Zincating to produce the uniform and adhesive coatings on Al alloys.

Coating Process on Al
Coating Process on Al

Associated research themes

Materials and surface engineering

Related research groups

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)
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