New applications of well known surface treatment processes for high performance aluminium alloys, such as physical vapour deposition (magnetron sputtering, evaporation, low temperature cathodic arc deposition) and anodization have been developed.
Original methods to modify the properties of the superficial oxide layers using ion beam bombardment such as ion implantation and ion beam mixing have been developed.
Surface treatment baths which used toxic chromium VI based products have been eliminated. The resistance to corrosion of the unclad materials has been increased. The fatigue strength drop observed using conventional treatments has been reduced. These improvements will reduce environmental pollution and permit the use of thinner aluminium sheets.
The several alternative methods used to treat aluminium in this project are to be directly exploited by the partnership as it envolves the major aircraft manufacturers in Europe. Expected achievements include ecological aspects with chromium(6+) free anodizing, increased corrosion and fatigue resistance, eventually leading to thinner aluminium sheets being used and energy being saved.
Through the knowledge of the thermo-chemical processes and physico-chemical reactions which take place inside industrial sintering furnaces, of nature of gas circulation and the application of computerized regulation and control processes in steel sintering operations it will be possible to achieve the following tasks :
(i) Carbon content : to within +/- 0.05 %C for three different carbon content levels in 0.2 %C, 0.5 %C, 0.8 %C. This precision will be achieved with conventional existing techniques for production of sintered steels.
(ii) Microstructure : the carbon content must be homogenous throughout the entire pieces, the carbon variations in each piece being to within +/- 0.05 %C, and the structure must be free from intergranular cementite.
(iii) Dimensional precision : must comply to ISO standard IT8 with the aim of avoiding calibrating operations after sintering.
(iv) Specifications for the construction of new furnaces in order to achieve points (i), (ii) and (iii).
38206 La Laguna