An alternative, environmentally-friendly coating for aluminum used in aerospace projects has been developed by a research team from the University of Nevada, Reno. The coating, a blue-colored substance called a corrosion protective molybdate (salt) coating, replaces the carcinogenic chromate coatings once used on aerospace aluminum alloy.
“The carcinogenic coatings were exempted from the ban due to unavailability of suitable replacement combined with the high human and financial cost of failure from corrosion,” reports the UNR Newsroom. “The search for a suitable replacement has been elusive primarily due to one main characteristic of the coating referred to as ‘self-healing’ the ability of the coating to heal itself after being damaged or scratched.”
The team is led by Dev Chidambaram (pictured), director of UNR’s Materials and Electrochemical Research Laboratory, and also includes graduate student David Rodriguez and University of Colorado, Boulder student Roshan Misra, who previously attended Reno High School. The findings of the research were presented in Hawaii at the Pacific Rim Meeting on Electrochemical and Solid-State Science.
Chidambaram posted a video on his website demonstrating the effectiveness of the coating. Check it out at www.electrochemical.org/.