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Form Hard-Wearing and Decorative Aluminium Oxide Coatings on Aluminium Alloys using New Electrochemical Oxidation Technology

Technology Overview

Light-weighting trend has promoted usage of lightweight metals, such as aluminum or magnesium, and its alloys. Surface treatments, such as anti-corrosion coatings, are needed to improve components' corrosion resistance and wear resistance.

Existing methods create protective coatings on aluminium and its alloys is Anodising or Micro-Arc Oxidation (MAO).

Now, a Belarus R&D institute developed a new electrochemical oxidation technology, that able to form hard-wearing aluminum ceramic coatings on aluminum and its alloys with improved hardness, thickness, and roughness characteristics.

Coating properties improved using new technology: 

  •  hardness up to 8 GPa; 
  •  roughness < 0.05 µm; 
  •  thickness up to 70 µm. 

Technology Features & Specifications

  • This new electrochemical oxidation technology can be considered as a transition process in-between the traditional oxidation and full microarc oxidation processes.
  • It is implemented by supplying a pulsed current with up to 520 V during the oxidation process.
  • Growth rate of the oxide film, product's micro-hardness and corrosion resistance characteristics can be improve by moderating the application of pulses with different shapes and time durations.
  • Coating properties achieved by this new technology are:
    • hardness up to 8 GPa,
    • roughness < 0.05 µm,
    • thickness up to 70 µm.
  • Existing technology, Anodising or Micro-Arc Oxidation (MAO) methods create protective coatings on aluminium and its alloys with following properties:
    • hardness up to 6 GPa,
    • roughness < 0.2 µm,
    • thickness up to 40 µm.

Potential Applications

  • This technology can be utilized in the metalworking industry for treatment of substrates and products manufactured using aluminum and its alloys.
  • It can be used in  consumer goods industry for watch cases, mobile phone cases, and other consumer products made from aluminum.
  • In the electronics industry, it can be used in deposition of coatings on blanks of printed circuit boards based on aluminum, as substrates for light-emitting diode (LED) lamps and so on.
  • It can be also used to harden the rings of fuel pumps.
  • In short, this technology can be deployed in applications where aluminum and its alloys are used.

Market Trends and Opportunities

Corrosion mitigation is considered as a key focus area irrespective of geographies and industries. While many corrosion mitigation and protection technologies are available, anti-corrosion coatings are the most widely used. 

The global anti-corrosion coatings market revenue was pegged at 19.45 billion USD in 2017 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3 to 3.5 in the next three years to arrive at a forecasted revenue of around 21.55 billion USD in 2020.

The adoption of the technology is hugely dependent on an effective and efficient deposition process, which is vital for providing long lasting and durable protective coatings on targeted substrates. 

Customer Benefits

New electrochemical oxidation technology improve durability and maximize lifespan of the protective coating on aluminium products. As the result, improve products' quality and users' productive by extending products' lifetime and reducing downtime.

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