Microbially Influenced Corrosion of Aluminum Alloy Aircraft Fuel Tanks
Aluminum 7075 aircraft wing tanks failed in the 1950s. Investigation (visual inspection, biological analysis, and chemical analysis) supported the conclusion that MIC was the cause of the failures. Water condensed into the fuel tanks during flight led to microbial growth on the jet fuel. Pitting attack occurred under microbial deposits on the metal surface in the water phase or at the water-fuel interface. Previously, exposure of aluminum 7075 to cultures of various isolates showed that 27 bacterial isolates and 3 fungi could seriously corrode the aluminum alloy over several weeks. No recommendations were made.