Effect of Alkaline Cleaning and Activation on Aluminum Alloy 7075-T6


The effect of alkaline cleaning and activation on the composition and thickness of the oxide layer on aluminum alloy 7075-T6 was studied. E–pH diagrams were developed to predict the effect of alkaline cleaning and activation solutions on the stability of the oxide surface layers. The thickness of the native oxide layer was determined to be ∼30 nm by Auger electron spectroscopy depth profiling analysis. The outer ∼20 nm was rich in magnesium while the remaining ∼10 nm was rich in aluminum. Cleaning in a 9.1 pH alkaline solution was found to remove the magnesium-rich layer and leave behind an aluminum-rich oxide layer ∼10 nm thick. Activation in alkaline solutions of NaOH (pH > 12.9) or Na2CO3 (pH > 11.5) produced an oxide that was ∼20 to 60 nm thick and rich in magnesium. Alkaline cleaning and activation altered the oxide composition and thickness making it possible for deposition of thicker cerium-based conversion coatings (∼100 to 250 nm) compared to only alkaline cleaning (∼30 nm), with application of one spray cycle of deposition solution.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aluminum; Magnesium; Oxide; NaOH; Na2CO3; Degreasing

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2011 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011