Aluminium is used in a vast number of applications world wide in a wide range off environments. It is forecast that today’s 36 millions ton of Al production with a revenue of 100 billions USD (2006) will increase to 60 millions ton in 2015, because an increasing number of applications. The reasons for the usefulness of Al are: i) the high resistance to corrosion ii) the lightweight iii) the low price of the material.
It has since long been known that the corrosion resistance of Al depends on a naturally protective oxide film, which is self-renewing and mechanical damage of the surface film is self-repaired by re-oxidation.
The protective oxide can also be improved by electrochemical treatment, producing a much thicker protective oxide film.
Because of new Al applications, new properties of alumina are desired. A higher stability of the oxide film for pH values > 9 is desired when exposing Al in a vehicle to alkaline cleaning detergents. Further, increased hydrophilicity of Al is desired to avoid water droplet formation on Al based heat exchangers. Finally, in the important soldering process of Al, the oxide is instead an obstacle for a perfect result.
The goal of this project is to improve the corrosion resistance and versatility of Aluminum products. To achieve this goal, a unique constellation from Swedish academia and Al industry has been assembled, the ALUX constellation, to use their combined competence as well as novel experimental in-situ techniques and theory.