Corrosion performance of field-applied chromate conversion coatings

R. B. Leggat, S. R. Taylor, W. Zhang, R. G. Buchheit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Alternative conversion coatings designed to replace chromate conversion coatings (CCC) are typically compared to laboratory-prepared CCC with regard to stand-alone corrosion performance. This study seeks to determine the stand-alone corrosion resistance of field-applied CCC to establish a more realistic benchmark for new nonchromate conversion coatings. Salt spray exposure, wet tape adhesion tests, and measurement of electrical contact resistance were performed according to the military specifications that govern what conversion coatings are accepted for use by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) facilities. In addition, other analytical techniques such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy depth profiling were used. In an initial study, all of the field-applied coatings on AA2024 (UNS A92024), AA6061 (UNS A96061), and AA7075 (UNS A97075) displayed significant pitting after 168 h salt spray exposure. Additionally, attention to pre-cleaning the surface prior to coating was found to increase CCC corrosion resistance. Based on the results of the field-applied coatings, a second phase of investigation was initiated to examine the effects of coating time and application method (spray vs immersion) on the corrosion resistance and paint adhesion. This study was conducted using facilities designed to simulate conditions in an aircraft maintenance depot. It was found that spray and immersion application produced coatings with equivalent performance. Regardless of application method. 5 min of continuous exposure to solution was required to obtain adequate coating weight. The results of this study suggest that a review of the relevant military specifications is merited so that emerging, environmentally benign conversion coatings can be evaluated against an appropriate metric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • Adhesion
  • Aluminum aerospace alloys
  • Chromate conversion coating
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Electrical contact resistance
  • Military specifications
  • Salt spray
  • resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Materials Science (all)


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