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Investigation of Halide Free Ionic Liquids for the Electrodeposition of Zinc and Zinc Alloys

Project description

A halide-free approach to ionic liquid synthesis

Europe is one of the largest markets for fasteners in the world. Every year, about 4 % of its gross domestic product is destroyed by corrosion. About 25 % of this could be avoided by applying surface protection to avoid corrosion. Typically, zinc or zinc alloys are the prime material for electroplated fasteners. The EU-funded INHALE project plans to develop efficient, low-toxicity and eco-friendly halide-free ionic liquids to be used as electrolytes in zinc electrodeposition. To test the performance and stability of the newly synthesised ionic liquids, the project will carry out throughput studies of zinc-based coatings in a 25–30 L plating bath and compare them with aqueous solutions.

Objective

Europe is one of the largest markets for fasteners and automotive sector in the world. About 4% of the gross national product of the EU is destroyed by corrosion. About 25% of this could be avoided by protecting the surface. Typically, pure zinc or zinc alloys are used as cathodic corrosion protection layers due to its sacrificial property. INHALE project will focus on the development of efficient, low toxicity and environmentally friendly halide-free ionic liquids as electrolytes for the electrodeposition of zinc and zinc alloys, used for corrosion resistant coatings applications and address the problem of reducing the material usage by employing light weight structures. The aspects investigated are the electrochemical behaviour of the metals ions, the coating properties (thickness, morphology, quality, corrosion resistance), the effect of the electrolyte conditions (pH, concentration, temperature, conductivity, viscosity ), electrolyte components (cations, anions, metal salts, water content) on the electrodeposition of zinc and zinc-based alloys (containing Ni, Co, Fe etc.). The conductivity of plating bath will be correlated with the current eciency, deposition rate and morphology of the coatings. Influence of the water content on the Ni, Co, Fe content, current eciency, surface morphology, phase structure and corrosion resistance of Zn alloy coating shall be investigated in detail. The effects of viscosity, conductivity and electrochemical window of the ionic liquids (ILs) will be studied in relation to the water content in ILs and nucleation, growth process of the electrodeposited Zn, Zn based alloys. Finally the performance and stability of the halide-free ionic liquid based electrolyte towards improving the plating efficiency shall be validated by carrying out the throughput studies of zinc-based coatings in a 25-30 L plating bath (prepared using the novel, halide-free ionic liquid) and compared with aqueous solution based system.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
Address
UNIVERSITY ROAD
LE1 7RH Leicester
United Kingdom

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Region
East Midlands (England) Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire Leicester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 224 933,76