Effect of Processing on Microstructure and Corrosion Mitigating Properties of Hydrotalcite Coatings on AA 6061 Alloy


Mat. Res.




Pitting corrosion of the aluminium cladding of spent nuclear fuels stored in light water pools has been observed. To prevent this, coating of the Al cladding with hydrotalcite (HTC) was proposed. This paper presents the effect of chemical bath and processing parameters on microstructure and corrosion behavior of HTC coatings on alloy AA 6061 specimens. The HTC coating from the high temperature nitrate bath was homogeneous, thicker and consisted of well-defined intersecting platelets than that formed from the room temperature carbonate bath. Electrochemical polarization tests carried out with HTC coated AA 6061 specimens in 0.01 M NaCl revealed that specimens coated with HTC from the nitrate bath and further treated in a cerium salt solution were the most resistant to corrosion. Field tests in which un-coated and coated AA 6061 alloy coupons as well as full-size plates were exposed to the IEA-R1 reactor's spent fuel basin for duration of up to 14 months further corroborated the high corrosion resistance imparted by the high temperature HTC + Ce coating. The mechanism by which the HTC coating and cerium protect the Al alloy is discussed.

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