Surface characterisation of DC plasma electrolytic oxidation treated 6082 aluminium alloy: Effect of current density and electrolyte concentration

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Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) is a specialised but well-developed process which has found applications in aerospace, oil/gas, textile, chemical, electrical and biomedical sectors. A novel range of coatings having technologically attractive physical and chemical properties (e.g. wear- and corrosion-resistance) can be produced by suitable control of the electrolyte as well as electrical parameters of the PEO process. Oxide ceramic films, 3 to 40μm thick, were produced on 6082 aluminium alloy by DC PEO using 5 to 20A/dm2 current density in KOH electrolyte with varied concentration (0.5 to 2.0g/l). Phase analysis (composition and crystallite size) was carried out using X-ray diffraction and TEM techniques. Residual stresses associated with the crystalline coating phase (α-Al2O3) were evaluated using the X-ray diffraction Sin2Ψ method. Nanoindentation studies were conducted to evaluate the hardness and elastic modulus. SEM, SPM and TEM techniques were utilised to study surface as well as cross-sectional morphology and nano features of the PEO coatings. Correlations between internal stress and coating thickness, surface morphology and phase composition are discussed. It was found that, depending on the current density and electrolyte concentration used, internal direct and shear stresses in DC PEO alumina coatings ranged from -302±19MPa to -714±22MPa and -25±12MPa to -345±27MPa, respectively. Regimes of PEO treatment favourable for the production of thicker coatings with minimal stress level, dense morphology and relatively high content of α-Al2O3 phase are identified.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1679-1688
Number of pages10
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2010