Dilute aluminium alloys with additions of tin and indium when deposited by thermal spraying no longer behave as barrier coatings but demonstrate sacrificial corrosion properties when they exist on corrodible substrates. The degree to which the sacrificial attack occurs depends upon the spraying conditions and the tin or indium contents of the coating. The form in which the tin and/or indium exists in these coatings has not been specified but both elements are known to be sparingly soluble in aluminium. A series of experiments have been carried out using Al-12wt%Sn alloy powder as a feedstock for high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) spraying on to a steel substrate. The as-sprayed coatings were highly reactive in distilled water and dissolved in a few minutes. Heat-treatment of the coatings at 450°C for increasing amounts of time up to 20 hours reduced the reactivity to water but did not influence the corrosion rate in 0.1M NaCl solution. SEM/TEM observations on the coating provided evidence of the coarsening of tin particles from 15nm (as sprayed) to 0.5-2µm (as heat-treated). A second alloy with a copper addition i.e. Al-12wt%Sn-1wt%Cu was also sprayed to form coatings. The copper addition prevented reaction in water but did not influence the high corrosion rate of the as-sprayed coating in 0.1M NaCl. Heat treatment at 450°C reduced the corrosion rate and allowed passive films to form over limited ranges of electrode potential. The size and distribution of the tin phase was different in the copper containing coatings and this influenced the corrosion rate.

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