1997-02-24

Effects of Alloy Composition and Condition on Filiform Corrosion Performance of Cast Aluminum Wheels 970021

The movement towards extended warranties in the automobile industry has focussed attention on corrosion performance of many components, particularly cast aluminum wheels. Filiform corrosion is of particular concern since it can severely affect the appearance of the wheel. The appearance and the choice of wheel design are the most attractive features to customers. In order to enhance the filiform corrosion resistance of cast aluminum wheels, cleaning, pretreatment, coating and alloy parameters are critical and need to be optimized. In this paper, the effects of alloy composition and condition on filiform corrosion are reviewed. A series of cast discs were prepared with variations in iron, zinc and copper levels around the standard A356.2 alloy composition. Apart from composition, certain specimens were subjected to different heat treatment and ageing conditions. The effects of porosity and different machining procedures were also evaluated. All samples were cleaned and powder coated identically and although the primary focus of this study was on the alloy, selected samples were given a below normal level of chromium pretreatment. Filiform corrosion performance was evaluated using these different test procedures. Relative performance of these compositions and the effect of process variables are discussed.

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