Corrosion Control and Prevention

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[Gerhardus H. Koch]

Corrosion Control (A Design and manufacturing Issue)

Airline industries spend billions of dollars for maintenance operations of which a major chunk is allotted for controlling corrosion. The Air Force Corrosion Prevention and Control Office (AFCPCO) is responsible for controlling corrosion of military aircrafts. As Major Dan Bullock, the chief officer of AFCPCO says "Up to 50% of the workload on some aircraft at Air Force depots is corrosion-related" [Daniel E. Bullock]. Design and manufacturing issues both have an important role to play in corrosion control. Corrosion can be effectively addressed if proper planning is undertaken at the designing and the manufacturing phase of the airplane instead of treating it purely as a maintenance operation. Appropriate selection of materials, avoidance of 'dissimilar metal contacts', using suitable sealants and corrosion inhibitors are important from the design perspective. As an example of material selection today we see that most modern flights use aluminum alloy 7055-T7751 in place of the previously used 7150-T651 because of its high resistance to exfoliation. Similarly the carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) are found to induce galvanic corrosion if they are in contact with aluminum structures. To circumvent this problem the Boeing 777 has a specially designed aluminum splice column which avoids the direct contact between the CFRP floor beam and the aluminum structural frame. [Gerhardus H. Koch] AFCPCO experts expect that the application of research knowledge in design and manufacturing phase of the aircraft production would reduce corrosion related maintenance expenditure by around 40% ($320 million). [Daniel E. Bullock]

Corrosion Control by Coating

Using appropriate coating methods, galvanic corrosion of metal surfaces can be avoided. For example titanium surfaces are plated with cadmium and primed before they are attached to aluminum surfaces. The aluminum alloy surface is typically coated with corrosion inhibiting primers such as Skydrol-resistant epoxies. Before applying the coating the surface is anodized using phosphoric acid anodizer. [Gerhardus H. Koch] The most poplar method of corrosion prevention however is the use of chromate surface treatments of the aluminum structures. Using hexavalent-chromium compounds for surface coating is however an environmentally unsound practice as chromium is well known as a highly toxic and carcinogenic agent. The US air force has done extensive research to find an…[continue]

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"Corrosion Control And Prevention" (2004, October 26) Retrieved July 29, 2015, from

"Corrosion Control And Prevention" 26 October 2004. Web.29 July. 2015. <>

"Corrosion Control And Prevention", 26 October 2004, Accessed.29 July. 2015,

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