Highly robust superhydrophobic coating of aluminum 2024-T3 alloy for corrosion mitigation, deicing, and self-cleaning of aircraft
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Metals and alloys are used extensively because of their characteristics, including high strength, ability to bear heavy loads and stress, ductility, machinability, and so on. Metals and alloys are subject to corrosion when they come in contact with an aggressive environment. Among all the metals and alloys, aluminum is primarily used for various applications under aggressive atmospheric conditions, which result in its loss of metallic luster, changes in the dimensions of the aluminum, and its loss of strength. Many techniques have been used to minimize the corrosion of aluminum and its alloys, one of which is to employ a plasma surface cleaning treatment. Using this technique to fabricate the aluminum surface as a superhydrophobic (SH)-coated surface is the ultimate goal, whereby the coated surface becomes a water-fearing surface, can resist corrosion for a longer period of time, and can be applied as the best surface for icing conditions. Heat treatment was executed on the surface to make the SH coating highly robust. The corrosive behavior of Aluminum 2024-T3 alloy was tested using a 3.0% sodium chloride (NaCl) solution, which is an aggressive solution. The resulting behavior was investigated by means of contact angle measurement, linear polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), Fourier transform-infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Vickers microhardness, and salt soaking. Additional tests—tape adhesive, deicing, freezing time, supercooled water, and self-cleaning—were performed to show that the surface coat remains superhydrophobic schematically. It was discovered that the plasma surface cleaning treatment increases the adhesiveness between the substrate and the top coat, which results in the coated surface remaining superhydrophobic for a long period of time. The corrosion rate of the surface is also reduced, which provides a double benefit.
Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering