Abstract

Zinc and aluminium coatings have been used widely to protect steel structures from corrosion in aggressive and hostile conditions. The more recent development of zinc 15wt% aluminium alloy in a wire form has demonstrated that arc-spray coatings can be produced with a resistance to red rust which is superior to that of the single metals. Competitive 'pseudo' alloy or composite coatings produced by co-spraying wires of zinc and aluminium have been shown to achieve resistance to salt spray conditions similar to this conventional alloy. Work described in this paper confirms these findings and goes on to demonstrate an additional advantage of co-spraying an aluminium -5wt% magnesium instead of aluminium with the zinc. The importance of providing a fine dispersion of the two phases in the 'pseudo' alloy is highlighted and an alternative method of providing a similar dispersion by using a 'cored' wire (e.g. Al-5wt%Mg wire in a zinc sheath) approach has been demonstrated. The importance of 'self sealing' in these coatings after the initial loss of zinc is discussed which is related to the coating microstructure and their electrochemical behaviour in chloride solutions.

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