The use of aluminium by industry is widespread. It provide-excellent strength to weight performance with good fatigue characteristics This has enabled many recent innovations in areas such as lightweight vehicles and high-speed machinery. To enhance performance an anodised (oxide) coating is often applied to give hardness, wear and corrosion resistance. At present, this is best achieved on wrought alloys after expensive pre-machining. Anodising of cast alloys produces lower cost, near-net shaped components, however surface contaminants must first be removed by etching before a satisfactory oxidised surface can be applied. Traditional etching with hydrofluoric acid has limitations with some alloys, and its use is extremely dangerous and damaging to the environment. This project will develop an innovative and safer electrochemical etching process suitable for all cast aluminium components, using pulsing technology with polarity modulation to produce high integrity surfaces suitable for anodising. We anticipate that this research will have a significant impact on an (SME dominated) anodising industry and will promote the use of aluminium into new sectors with significant social, economic and environmental benefits.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
CV2 5DX Coventry