Fatigue and fracture assessment of toxic metal replacement coatings for aerospace applications

The use of corrosion resistant and adhesion promoting films and coatings is established industrial practice for many fatigue sensitive components and structures. However, recent environmental legislation restricting the use of a range of toxic heavy metals and their derivative processes, such as chromic acid anodising (CAA), has meant that a number of new coatings systems and pretreatments are currently being developed to replace the traditional processes still in use. Typical of these new systems are the boric–sulphuric acid anodising (BSAA) process, which can be modified to provide excellent adhesive bonding properties, the sulphuric acid anodising process, which includes an additional electrolytic phosphoric acid deoxidising stage (EPAD) to produce a duplex oxide layer, and the recently patented ACDC sulphuric acid anodising process which produces a two layered oxide film which can be tailored to produce different porosity volume fractions within each layer. This communication reports the preliminary findings of a study carried out to assess the fatigue response of Al2618:T6 aluminium alloys to these new processes. In contrast to CAA anodising, the initial results indicate that the EPAD and ACDC processes do not appear to have a significant effect on fatigue.