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Electrochemical etching of aluminium alloy in ionic liquids
conference contributionposted on 01.01.2012, 00:00 authored by Peipei Huang, Patrick HowlettPatrick Howlett, D MacFarlane, Maria ForsythMaria Forsyth
AA5083 aluminium alloy has been shown to be partially passivated by a 2-step anodic pre-treatment in Trihexyl(tetradecyl)phosphonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)amide ([P6,6,6,14][NTf2]) ionic liquid. Surface characterisation revealed that an electrochemical etching process had occurred, comparable to acid etching of aluminium. Scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy results have established that magnesium dealloyed from the Mg2Si intermetallic particles and metal fluorides were deposited onto the remaining Mg2Si sites, which subsequently led to decreased anodic corrosion kinetics (to one third of the control) as well as an increase in the corrosion and pitting potentials. This unique electrochemical etching process offers a simple and quick method to improve the corrosion resistance of an aluminium alloy as it leads to a more uniform surface, in terms of defect size and distribution, compared to conventional acid etching. This process has the potential to be used as a pre-treatment to inhibit corrosion of AA5083 alloy.