Gentile, M., Koroleva, E.V., Skeldon, P., Thompson, G.E., Bailey, Paul and Noakes, T.C.Q. (2010) Influence of pre-treatment on the surface composition of Al–Zn alloys. Corrosion Science, 52 (3). pp. 688-694. ISSN 0010-938X

The influences of pre-treatments on the composition of Al–Zn alloys, containing 0.6–1.9 at.%Zn, are investigated using scanning and transmission electron microscopies, glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy and ion beam analysis. Alkaline etching, anodic alkaline etching and electropolishing result in zinc enrichments, just beneath the oxide/hydroxide films on the alloy surfaces. The enriched alloy, about 4–5nm thick, contains zinc in solid-solution with aluminium, up to about 18 at.%. The highest and lowest enrichments are produced by alkaline etching and electropolishing respectively. For a given pre-treatment, the enrichment increases with increase in zinc content of the bulk alloy.

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